Sea Level Rise Visualization on the Alabama-Mississippi and Delaware Coastlines

Author(s): Wilson, K.; Turnipseed, D.; Thatcher, C.; Sempier, S.; Wilson, S.; Mason Jr., R.; Marcy, D.; Burkett, V.; Carter, D.

Coastal communities throughout the U.S. are in the initial stages of thinking about, planning, and/or creating climate adaptation plans. Emergency managers, developers, and the general public need to know the potential impact of a rising sea level and how that phenomenon may influence plans for developing future critical infrastructure and for habitat restoration and conservation.

In late 2008, in response to these critical needs, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in concert with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and several other Federal, State, and local stakeholders formed a team to create two pilot internet map applications that could effectively project various sea level rise scenarios on the Alabama-Mississippi Gulf of Mexico Coast and the mouth of the Christina River and Upper Delaware Bay at Wilmington, Delaware.

The Alabama-Mississippi Gulf of Mexico Coastal pilot Internet Map Server (http://gom.usgs.gov/slr/index.html) was developed from an existing server which was built principally to display the maximum storm tide crest resulting from Hurricane Katrina (2005). This server quickly and easily projects 1-, 3-, and 6-ft sea level rises onto a 3-meter digital elevation model constructed from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data procured before Hurricane Katrina.

The Delaware River pilot (http://csc-s-web-q.csc.noaa.gov/de_slr/index.html), developed with a similar concept, used a 2-meter horizontal Digital Elevation Model created from State of Delaware LiDAR data to illustrate a hypothetical 4 ft. rise in sea level. Flood frequency estimates were computed based on National Weather Service coastal flood warning criteria to show how these increases in sea level could make daily tidal flooding worse.

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Technical Sessions

Session I Sedimentation
Session II Weather/Climate
Session III Coastal Resources
Session IV Surface Water Management
Session V Wetlands
Session VI Education
Session VII Management/Planning
Session VIII Wetlands
Session IX Delta Groundwater
Session X Nutrients
Session XI Delta Water Resources
Session XII Ports

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