Combined effect of sea-level Rise and Coastal Land Subsidence-Identification of Critical Transportation Infrastructure At-risk in Coastal SPTC Region
The SPTC region covers a vast area and most of the transportation infrastructure is in-land. However, two of the two of the five states of the region, Texas and Louisiana, have considerable amount of the coastal-line and as a result a significant transportation infrastructure that is located in and around coastal areas. Climate change can affect coastal areas in a variety of ways. Coasts are sensitive to sea level rise, changes in the frequency and intensity of storms, increases in precipitation and storm surges. The resilience of transportation infrastructure located in coastal zone, against storm surges and climatic sea-level rise is critical. The net change in sea-level is affected by the increase in global sea level as well as land movement up or down. There are many places in coastal Louisiana and Texas that have a high subsidence rate. The subsidence could be related to various activities e.g. excess extraction of oil and water, natural and/or human induced compactions, and tectonic movements. Where the land is sinking, the rate in the United States are occurring in areas where the land is sinking, including parts of the Gulf Coast. For example, coastal Louisiana has seen its relative sea level rise by eight inches or more in the last 50 years, which is about twice the global rate. Subsiding land in the Gulf area worsens the effects of relative sea level rise, increasing the risk of flooding in cities, inhabited islands, and tidal wetlands.
The research team will investigate the trends for sea-level rise and land subsidence in coastal regions of Louisiana and Texas. The spatial maps will be created using ArcGIS for transportation infrastructure that is at risk because of combined risk of land subsidence and sea-level rise. This is extremely useful in being prepared for short-term as well as long term natural hazards especially in context of Climate Adaptive Transportation and Freight Infrastructure. The results of this study will be helpful to state transportation agencies and infrastructure managers who are tasked with resiliency planning and management. It will also help transportation infrastructure and working towards appropriate solutions. The project is important to transportation stakeholders in the region as it will foster collaborative activities and will educate both professionals and the general public on issues related to transportation infrastructure in coastal areas resulting in increased overall public awareness. Also, the outcomes of the project will serve as an educational and research tool to convey to undergraduate and graduate students on how climate changes affects the safety and stability of transportation infrastructure in the coastal region of the region.
Principal Investigator: Tewari, Sanjay -- Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology
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