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Modern hydrographic techniques supporting beach restoration and sustainable coastal management

Published: Proceedings from the GEO Business 2014, 28 – 29 May 2014, London UK

28 May 2014
Ventura, D. and Mitchell T. (2014)

Many agencies and institutions use global sea level change estimates to inform the public and plan for sustainability and resiliency to both episodic events and long-term changes. Due to the number of agencies conducting studies using different methods for calculation, sea level rise estimates for 2100 range from 0.6 – 2.0 meters. These mean estimates may or may not include rapid ice loss scenarios, and are often provided as global means. Specific coastal infrastructure planning should consider local, not global projections. Several factors contribute to local sea level variations, on the short and long term, including: changes in current and water temperature, continental plate movement, local subsidence or heave, glacial rebound, seismic events, changes in tidal magnitude, changes in storm frequency and surge magnitude, and in some cases, changes in bay elevations caused by variations in riverine water supply. In addition, adaptive strategies also need to consider the uncertainty in predictions, design life of infrastructure, adaptive and/or incremental design/construction (including consideration of the net present value of coastal flood defense infrastructure), and the social and economic systems within which infrastructure functions. The Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI) within the ASCE is developing a manual of best practice for engineers to reference for engineering of marine civil works with respect to sea level change resiliency and sustainability. This paper provides an update on the status of this material and an overview of the issues that the guidance document addresses.


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