Applying Climate Change Information to Hydrologic and Hydraulic Design of Transportation Infrastructure
By Casey Kramer
Hydraulic engineers across the nation are being asked to account for global climate change within the hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) design practice. Current H&H design procedures typically rely on use of historical data that are assumed to represent a stationary process. A changing climate, however, introduces non-stationary risks such as sea level and temperature rise, and changes in timing and distribution of precipitation, snowpack, and snowmelt. Failure to account for such non-stationary risks may compromise the operational characteristics of existing and future transportation infrastructure.
By Janan Evans-Wilent
Many coastal communities in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) are at risk of coastal change and flood hazards during the winter, which are only expected to increase with climate change. At present, local decision-makers lack both the information and tools for an adaptive capacity to reduce their vulnerability, particularly with uncertain sea level rise, changing storm patterns, and projected shifts in the frequency and severity of El Niños. Within this context of uncertainty and lack of information, we are developing a transferable approach for projecting the evolving probabilities of coastal and bay flooding and erosion, and the associated vulnerability of Grays Harbor County communities to these hazards. In order to develop usable decision-support tools, we are co-developing the information and strategies necessary to assess these impacts and initiate adaptation methods with local stakeholders, in order to identify priorities and concerns and explore policy scenarios that realistically fit the county’s needs.
By: Heather Weiner
Hey All! The Coastal Monitoring & Analysis Program (CMAP) at the Department of Ecology has an article in this month’s issue of xyHt, a magazine for professional surveyors and those who work in geospatial disciplines. For those of you who are not already familiar, CMAP conducts quarterly beach topography surveys throughout the southwest Washington coast to monitor erosion and changes in beach elevation. CMAP also performs surveys around the Puget Sound to map and monitor beaches and bluffs. The xyHt article features their research vessel, the R/V George Davidson, and highlights the innovative dual-mount multibeam sonars they use for extreme shallow-water mapping to track morphologic change along the coast. The article is available online at: http://www.xyht.com/hydromarine/dual-head-mapping/
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