Natural Hazards

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 967–986 | Cite as

Synthetic impact response functions for flood vulnerability analysis and adaptation measures in coastal zones under changing climatic conditions: a case study in Gippsland coastal region, Australia

  • Dushmanta Dutta
  • Wendy Wright
  • Philip Rayment
Original Paper


There is an increasing concern that the current management practices for many coastal regions are unsustainable. Very few countries have planned to deal with the exacerbation of environmental decline in the face of sea level rise. It is therefore necessary to assess socioeconomic and environmental impacts of sea level rises to better understand the vulnerability of coastal zones, as part of devising adaptive and integrated management principles. This paper presents a systematic approach by which relevant stakeholders can be actively engaged in prioritising flood impact issues and deriving information for quantification of impacts for adaptation measures and demonstrates the approach through implementation in the Gippsland coastal region. As outcomes of the project, we have identified key issues of concern for this region for flood impacts and constructed synthetic response functions for quantification of impacts of floods on some of the key issues in the region. The analysis also showed that stakeholders consider that some of the issues are not likely to be significantly affected by floods and thus may not require adaptation measures. The analysis did not provide high agreement on some issues. Different approaches are required to assess the importance of these issues and to establish impact response functions for them.


Synthetic impact response functions Floods Coastal zones Stakeholder engagement Climate change 



The authors wish to acknowledge the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research for financial support, the stakeholder reference group and the international expert group for participation in the project, Monash University’s Standing Committee on Ethics in Research Involving Humans (SCERH) for review and approval of the questionnaires, Paul McLaren of Monash University’s Information Technology Support division for valuable assistance with data manipulation, and the two anonymous reviewers for their invaluable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dushmanta Dutta
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wendy Wright
    • 1
  • Philip Rayment
    • 1
  1. 1.SASEMonash UniversityChurchillAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Land and WaterBlack MountainAustralia

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