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Susceptibility Analysis

An attempt at applying a susceptibility framework and developing management products has begun for an 8-km stretch of the southern Long Beach Peninsula (see figure at right).  The case scenario examines shoreline change over a 25-year period (1995 - 2020) coupled with the seasonal variability of beach state parameters (2.0-m contour line, beach slope, median grain size, etc.)  and the impacts associated with predicted wave run up (dune toe impact and dune crest overwash).  Future shoreline position is presented as a range of values incorporating uncertainty in data sets and model formulation as well as short-term seasonal variability.  The results of this analysis are plotted on an orthophoto base map to illustrate potential conflicts between predicted future shoreline positions and planned or existing coastal development.

While mapped output may be useful over the short-term, the static nature of a printed map may limit its utility into the future.  Ideally, decision support is provided as a GIS tool that enables a range of scenarios to be tested, allowing local communities to determine specific boundary conditions and objective evaluation measures, combined with their associated probabilities, uncertainties and levels of risk to facilitate the adoption of scientifically-based, publicly-acceptable coastal management plans.

A complete susceptibility assessment should include an investigation of the physical, social, economic and ecological characteristics of the system.  However, an investigation of the impacts of physical change on the social and economic systems can establish the need for additional research and management focus in areas susceptible to coastal change to mitigate current hazards and avoid future management crises.

Link to a list of additional readings on science and management integration, technical assistance to coastal communities and analyzing susceptibility to coastal change.

Ecology - SEA Program | USGS - Coastal & Marine Geology

This is http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/swces/research/support/susceptibility.htm
Maintained by CMAP, Washington Department of Ecology
Address questions and comments to George Kaminsky
Modified 22 Mar 2012