Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 785–800 | Cite as

Index based multi-criteria approach to coastal risk assesment

  • Ingrida BagdanavičiūtėEmail author
  • Loreta Kelpšaitė-Rimkienė
  • Jelena Galinienė
  • Tarmo Soomere


The present study focuses on the quantification of coastal risks associated with erosion and inundation accelerated by sea level rise and extreme storms events in the specific conditions of micro-tidal semi-enclosed seas. The main objective is to develop a measure that characterises climate-related external hazards, the exposure (of people and assets at risk of being damaged) and vulnerability of human and natural systems. This is accomplished by means of adaption of the concept of nondimensional coastal risk (or resilience) index (CRI), as a function of coastal vulnerability and exposure indices, to the conditions of sedimentary shores of the eastern Baltic Sea and testing its suitability for low-lying coastal zones considering their environmental and socio-economic characteristics. The study area is an about 45 km long coastal section of Lithuania in the south-eastern Baltic Sea. We introduce a set of locally relevant coastal vulnerability and exposure variables, apply an Analytical Hierarchy Process to calculate the criteria weights and GIS multi-criteria evaluation approach to calculate the CRI values. The coastal segments with high vulnerability often have low values of the exposure index. About 11% of the study area is under very high risk. The largest CRI values occur at a certain distance from the touristic or industrial spots near Klaipėda, around the Palanga pier and to the north of Šventoji. These coastal sectors are highly populated areas that suffer from sediments deficit due to coastal engineering structures.


Coastal vulnerability assessment Coastal risk index Climate change GIS Multi-criteria evaluation AHP Baltic Sea 



The study was partly funded by European Commission within the framework of the Interreg South Baltic programme 2014–2020 and The Reviving Baltic Resilience project (STHB.02.02.00-22-0092/16). The cartographic data was kindly provided by National Land Service of Lithuania and Lithuanian Geological Survey. The interpretation of the data was supported by the institutional financing by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (Estonian Research Council grant IUT33-3). The authors are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingrida Bagdanavičiūtė
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Loreta Kelpšaitė-Rimkienė
    • 3
  • Jelena Galinienė
    • 1
  • Tarmo Soomere
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Natural SciencesKlaipeda UniversityKlaipėdaLithuania
  2. 2.Institute of GeosciencesVilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania
  3. 3.Marine Research InstituteKlaipėda UniversityKlaipėdaLithuania
  4. 4.Department of Cybernetics, School of ScienceTallinn University of TechnologyTallinnEstonia

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