Sea level rise flood hazard mapping in the Catalan coast (NW Mediterranean)
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DepartmentCiencias de la Tierra
SourceProceedings of CoastGIS 2011 Conference, Vol. 4, p. 120-126
This study represents the first regional assessment of the potential permanent flooding due to sea level rise (SLR) in the Catalan coast (Spain, NW Mediterranean). It includes the delimitation, using GIS techniques and spatial datasets, of areas prone to be flooded under two SLR scenarios (i.e. scenario 1, 0.18 and scenario 2, 0.59 m), and the potential impact to coastal land covers. Results showed large differences in the inundation extent between scenarios (scenario 1, 49 km2 and scenario 2, 187 km2). Flooding was mainly found in coastal lowlands with high environmental values and particularly in the Ebro Delta. Although agricultural land was the most flooded land cover in absolute terms under the highest SLR scenario, results showed a large potential impact to low-lying coastal habitats (e.g. beaches, wetlands). Results from this study indicate that SLR can negatively affect important environmental and socio-economic aspects of the Catalan coast, especially coastal tourism, due to the current limited capacity of coastal adaptation to SLR-flooding in many coastal areas.