Risk-Cost Aspects of Sea Level Rise and Climate Change in the Evaluation of Shore Protection Projects

  • E. Z. Stakhiv
  • S. J. Ratick
  • Wei Du
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 29)


U.S. Federal coastal protection project planning can incorporate forecasts of sea level rise and storm frequency changes due to climate change through the application of risk and uncertainty analysis techniques. Incorporating future sea level rise into current projects implies building projects that are too large for existing conditions. Also, changed future conditions such as increased storm frequency and intensity, which increase recurring project maintenance costs tend to favor structural-type projects. Based on applications of a suggested risk-cost evaluation approach adapted from a simplified model for river flood damage assessment, results suggested that uncertainties in predicting future economic damages dominated the uncertainties in the physical regime, i.e. sea level rise. In terms of planning current projects, preliminary indications are that adverse impacts of sea level rise and climate change occur too slowly and too far into the future to have much influence on the choice of the type and scale of coastal protection projects. This is especially true given the higher interest rate used in present value calculations. Therefore, in the foreseeable future, the U.S. is likely to rely on nonstructural and land use management solutions that are administered by state and local agencies.


Storm Surge Significant Wave Height Army Corps Flood Damage Flood Discharge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bakker, W.T. and J.K. Vrijling. 1981. Probabilistic design of sea defenses. In: Proceedings of the Seventeenth Coastal Engineering Conference. Vol II. New York: ASCE.Google Scholar
  2. Bruun, P. 1962. Sea level rise as a cause of shore erosion. Journal of Waterways and Harbors Division. 1:116–30.Google Scholar
  3. Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC), 1984. Expected Annual Flood Damage Computation, User’s Manual. U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Davis, CA.Google Scholar
  4. Institute for Water Resources (IWR), 1990. National Economic Development Procedures Manual: Coastal Storm Damage and Erosion. Draft IWR Report, US Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Belvoir, VA.Google Scholar
  5. Moser, D.A. and E.Z. Stakhiv, 1989. Risk-Cost Evaluation of Coastal Protection Projects With Sea Level Rise and Climate Change. In: Y.Y. Haimes and E.Z. Stakhiv (eds.) Risk Analysis and Management of Natural and Man-Made Hazards. Proc. Engineering Foundation conference, American Society of Civil Engineers. New York, NY. p.222–239.Google Scholar
  6. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 1990. Report of Working Group I. Chapter 9: Sea Level Rise. World Meteorological Organization/United Nations Environment Program.Google Scholar
  7. National Research Council. 1987. Responding to Changes in Sea Level: Engineering Implications. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  8. National Research Council, 1990. Managing Coastal Erosion. Washington, D.C. National Academy Press. 182p.Google Scholar
  9. Ratick, S. J. and W. Du, 1988. Guidelines for Evaluating Risk and Uncertainty in Local Flood Damage Protection Projects: Draft Report prepared by U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources. Center for Technology, Environment and Development, Clark University.Google Scholar
  10. Schwartz, M.L. 1967. The Bruun theory of sea level rise as a cause of shore erosion. Journal of Geology. 75:76–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. US Army Corps of Engineers 1989. Atlantic Coast of Maryland Hurricane Protection Project. Feasibility Report, Baltimore District.Google Scholar
  12. U.S. Water Resources Council. 1983. Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Z. Stakhiv
    • 1
  • S. J. Ratick
    • 2
  • Wei Du
    • 2
  1. 1.U.S. Army Corps of EngineersInstitute for Water ResourcesFort BelvoirUSA
  2. 2.Center for Technology, Environment and DevelopmentClark UniversityWorcesterUSA

Personalised recommendations