Assessing and mapping regional coastal vulnerability for port environments and coastal cities
Complex hazards associated with climate change are increasing the vulnerability of urban coastal areas around the globe. This was particularly evident in the UK during the winter of 2013–14 when many coastal areas and infrastructure suffered from unprecedented storms, flooding and erosion. Given the value and importance of urban environments, there is a real need to assess the vulnerability of towns and cities on the United Kingdom (UK) coastline on the basis of the latest projected climate scenarios. Accordingly, a modified Physical Coastal Vulnerability Index (PCVI) was developed in which beach width and coastal slope are considered the most critical physical parameters. The PCVI can be used to rank spatial coastal cells into four classes of vulnerability (from extremely low to high) and to map coastal vulnerability using GIS. As a case study, this approach was applied to the city of Southampton; one of the key port and trade cities in the UK, with results indicating that 38% of the city’s coastline is highly vulnerable, and more than 50% moderately vulnerable. The work demonstrates that the methodological framework can be used as a planning tool for coastal management and, based on the availability of suitable data, can be adapted for estuarine or coastal and port environments without any geographical limits. Newly developed coastal vulnerability maps can be used by coastal engineers, managers and other decision makers to implement rigorous shoreline management planning as well as supporting risk, and disaster management policy and procedures.
KeywordsPhysical coastal vulnerability index (PCVI) Vulnerability mapping Geographic information systems (GIS) Estuarine environments Port and coastal cities
Dr. Xiaoping Du is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), (Grant No. 41301486) and Natural Science Foundation of Hainan Province of China (Grant No. 417214).
We would like to give special thanks for the valuable comments of anonymous reviewers on an earlier version, which contributed significantly to the improvement of the manuscript. We wish to give special thanks to Getmapping -Aerial Photographs Unit, for the aerial photographs used in the research.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
This manuscript has not been previously published and is not under consideration in the same or substantially similar form in any other peer-reviewed media. To the best of my knowledge, no conflict of interest, financial or other, exists.
- ABPmer (2012) Southampton City Council Coastal Flood and Erosion Risk Strategy, Proposal10793. Available at https://www.southampton.gov.uk/policies/southampton%20coastal%20strategy%20-%20appendix%201a%20-%20conceptual%20understanding_tcm63-365040.pdf Accessed on 10.10.2014
- ATKINS (2011) Economic impact of the port of the Southampton. Availiable at Economic_Impact_of_the_Port_of_Southampton_-_Final_Reportpdf Accessed on 12. 12.2016Google Scholar
- Bollmann M, Bosch T, Colijn F, Ebinghaus R, Froese R, Guessow K, Khalilian S, Krastel S, Koertzinger A, Lagenbuch M, Latif M (2010) World ocean review 2010: living with the oceansGoogle Scholar
- Gornitz V, Kanciruk P (1989) Assessment of global coastal hazards from sea level rise. Oak Ridge National Lab, TN (USA)Google Scholar
- Gornitz VM, Daniels RC, White TW, Birdwell KR (1994) The development of a coastal risk assessment database: vulnerability to sea-level rise in the US southeast. J Coast Res:327–338Google Scholar
- Halpern BS, Walbridge S, Selkoe KA, Kappel CV, Micheli F, D'Agrosa C, Bruno JF, Casey KS, Ebert C, Fox HE, Fujita R, Heinemann D, Lenihan HS, Madin EMP, Perry MT, Selig ER, Spalding M, Steneck R, Watson R (2008) A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science 319:948–952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hampshire City Council (2014) Coastal Communities 2150 Adaptation Plan For the Community of Southampton Itchen Avaliable at http://solentforum.geodata.soton.ac.uk/current/CCATCH/Southampton_Itchen/SouthamptonAdaptationPlan.pdf
- Hopley EC (2014) The impact of changing sediment budgets on an industrialised estuary: a case study of Southampton water. University of Southampton, UKGoogle Scholar
- Jha AK, Bloch R, Lamond J (2012) Cities and flooding: a guide to integrated urban flood risk management for the 21st century. World Bank PublicationsGoogle Scholar
- Nicholls RJ et al (2007) Coastal systems and low-lying areas. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 315–356Google Scholar
- Palmer B et al. (2011) Preliminary coastal vulnerability assessment for KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa J Coast Res :1390Google Scholar
- Pramanik M, Biswas S, Mukherjee T, Roy A, Pal R (2015) Sea level rise and coastal vulnerability along the eastern coast of India through geo-spatial technologies. J Geophys Remote Sensing 4:2Google Scholar
- PUSH (2016a) Partnership for urban south hampshire -strategic flood risk assessment – 2016 Update Available at: https://maps.hants.gov.uk/push/Reports/PUSH_SFRA_SCC_Guidance_for_Upload.pdf 2016 Accessed on 30.11.2016
- PUSH (2016b) Partnership for urban south hampshire: strategic flood risk assessment, final report. December, 2007, Atkins, 109pp.2007. Partnership for urban south hampshire: strategic flood risk assessment, finalGoogle Scholar
- Smith A, Martin D, Cockings S (2014) Spatio-temporal population modelling for enhanced assessment of urban exposure to flood risk. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy :1–19Google Scholar
- Southampton City Council. Southampton statistics (2015). Avaliable at https://www.southampton.gov.uk/council-democracy/council-data/statistics Accessed on 10.10.2016
- Southampton City Council. Southampton current urban form (2016). Avaliable at https://www.southampton.gov.uk/policies/4%20The%20Current%20Urban%20Form.pdf Accessed on 20.04.2017
- Sterr H, Klein R, Reese S (2000) Climate change and coastal zones: an overview of the state of the art on regional and local vulnerability assessment. CiteseerGoogle Scholar
- Thieler ER (2000) National assessment of coastal vulnerability to future sea-level rise. No. 076-00. In: US geological surveyGoogle Scholar
- Townend I (2007) A conceptual model of Southampton Water Prepared for the Estuary Guide as a case study support document by I Townend, online available at: http://www.estuary-guide.net/pdfs/southampton_water_case_study.pdf
- Witherick M (1981) Port developments, port-city linkages and prospects for maritime industry: a case study of Southampton Cityport industrialization and regional development. Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp 113–132Google Scholar
- Zsamboky M, Fernández-Bilbao A, Smith D, Knight J, Allan J (2011) Impacts of climate change on disadvantaged UK coastal communities. Joseph Rowntree Foundation, YorkGoogle Scholar