A Web GIS Decision Support System For Coastal Risk Assessment and Mitigation Planning

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Abstract

Coastal flooding poses serious threats to coastal areas around the world, billions of dollars in damage to property and infrastructure, and threatens the lives of millions of people. Therefore, disaster management and risk assessment aims at detecting vulnerability and capacities in order to reduce coastal flood disaster risk. In particular, non-specialized researchers, emergency management personnel, and land use planners require an accurate, inexpensive method to determine and map risk associated with storm surge events and long-term sea level rise associated with climate change. This study contributes to the spatially evaluation and mapping of social-economic-environmental vulnerability and risk at sub-national scale through the development of appropriate tools and methods successfully embedded in a Web-GIS Decision Support System. A new set of raster-based models were studied and developed in order to be easily implemented in the Web-GIS framework with the purpose to quickly assess and map flood hazards characteristics, damage and vulnerability in a Multi-criteria approach. The Web-GIS DSS is developed recurring to open source software and programming language and its main peculiarity is to be available and usable by coastal managers and land use planners without requiring high scientific background in hydraulic engineering. The effectiveness of the system in the coastal risk assessment is evaluated trough its application to a real case study.