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Application of geospatial technologies in adaptive management assessments of sea level rise impacts on coastal infrastructure
Proceedings of the 2023 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2023 Authors: Grala K., Cartwright J.

Coastal infrastructure systems experience severe impacts due to high tide flooding, storm surge, and reoccurring extreme weather events. Geospatial technologies are commonly used to assess the severity of these impacts. However, the selection of custom-made geospatial tools that would allow decision-makers to produce rapid assessments of these impacts is limited. This is particularly true for tools supporting adaptive management decisions that must account for unknown factors when evaluating critical infrastructure systems such as roads, powerlines, and wastewater disposal sites. We used Geographic Information Systems to improve data analysis and assess current and future threats related to the projected sea level rise (SLR) scenarios. This presentation highlights the work of two geospatial efforts for the infrastructure assessments at both the regional and local scales. These efforts include a multistate vulnerability assessment of the SLR impacts on transportation infrastructure and a local-level analysis of on-site wastewater disposal systems. Methodologies for these projects are based on geospatial science and consider spatial relationships between the SLR layers and different segments of infrastructure systems. The results are disseminated via interactive web-based applications (maps and dashboards) to help identify the most vulnerable coastal communities. These efforts produced geospatial tools to automate assessments of the projected SLR scenarios and data extraction across multiple layers. Decision-makers can use the developed tools to augment their decision-making processes and find better adaptive management solutions to ensure that the coastal communities are more resilient to potential SLR impacts.

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