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This content will become publicly available on March 18, 2021

Title: Mapping Exposure to Flooding in Three Coastal Communities on the North Slope of Alaska Using Airborne LiDAR

The intensification of coastal storms, combined with declining sea ice cover, sea level rise, and changes to permafrost conditions, will likely increase the incidence and impact of storm surge flooding in Arctic coastal environments. In coastal communities accurate information on the exposure of infrastructure can make an important contribution to adaptation planning. In this study, we use high resolution elevation data from airborne LiDAR to generate storm flooding scenarios for three coastal communities (Utqiag_ vik, Wainwright, and Kaktovik) in northern Alaska. To estimate the potential for damage to infrastructure caused by flooding for each community, we generated data on replacement costs and used it to estimate the financial impact of 24 storm flooding scenarios of varying intensities. This analysis shows that all three communities are exposed to storm surges, but highlights the fact that infrastructure in Utqiag_ vik (the administrative center of the North Slope Borough) is significantly more exposed than buildings in Wainwright and Kaktovik. Our findings show that flooding scenarios can complement information gained from past events and help to inform local-decision making.
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Award ID's:
1927553; 1745369; 1656026
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Coastal Management
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1 to 22
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation