Quantifying vulnerability to sea level rise across multiple coastal typologies

Project: Research project

Project Details


Quantifying vulnerability to sea level rise across multiple coastal typologies Quantifying vulnerability to sea level rise across multiple coastal typologies Assessing future impacts and vulnerability of coastlines and nearshore resources is increasingly important in this time of rapid climate change and rising anthropogenic activities. One of the most significant climate-induced changes in the coastal zone, and to the communities living within them, will be sea level rise. Given projected increases in sea level exceeding 1.0-2.0 m by the year 2100, tropical islands pose a major challenge to measuring and monitoring coastal vulnerability because slight changes in sea level may rapidly cover significant portions of available land area. Not only will this impact onshore ecosystems, such as rocky intertidal habitat, dune systems, and coastal vegetation, but the mixing of materials from land into nearshore waters will impact reef health and coastal ocean dynamics. The vulnerability of coastal and aquatic ecosystems to sea level rise has mostly been studied in the context of low gradient wetlands and sandy coastal environments. A major gap in knowledge is the extent to which sea level rise will modify habitat and community structure along rocky shorelines and concomitant coastal vegetation. Rocky intertidal and shallow reef systems are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss due to unique ecological characteristics adapted specifically to the local tidal gradient. Coastal species on land and in the sea within the tropics are accustomed to limited water level variances characteristic of smaller wave heights and tidal ranges, and as such these ecosystems may exhibit heightened sensitivity to sea level rise. Remote sensing via satellite-based technologies has been useful for distinguishing amongst broadly classified ecosystems across the globe. However, the resolution of satellite imagery alone is too coarse to capture spatial patterns of coastal communities at an island scale. Success has been shown in the use of airborne remote sensing and more recently with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in species scale mapping. Coupling satellite remote sensing with detailed in-situ measu
Effective start/end date8/1/217/31/24


  • National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA): $226,895.00


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