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Water 2014, 6(3), 517-546; doi:10.3390/w6030517

Integrated River and Coastal Hydrodynamic Flood Risk Mapping of the LaHave River Estuary and Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada

Applied Geomatics Research Group, Nova Scotia Community College, Middleton, Nova Scotia B0S 1M0, NS, Canada
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Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 5 March 2014 / Published: 21 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Estimation and Analysis in a Variable and Changing Environment)
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Abstract

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, is located 20 km inland from the mouth of the LaHave River estuary on the Atlantic Coast of Canada. Bridgewater is at risk of flooding due to the combined effects of river runoff and a storm surge on top of high tide. Projected increases in sea-level and possible increased river runoff with climate change increase the risk of future flooding. A set of river and ocean water level simulations were carried out to determine the risk of flooding to Bridgewater today and in the future under climate change. The hydrodynamic simulation developed incorporates return periods of a time series of river discharge measurements for the LaHave watershed, ocean water dynamics at the mouth of the river under normal tidal conditions and with two levels of storm surge, near shore and river bathymetry, as well as high precision topographic lidar derived ground elevations and survey grade GPS. The study was supported by data from two tide gauge sensors, and qualitative evidence provided by the community such as historical flood levels and photographs. Results show that areas upstream of the town are vulnerable to large discharge events of the LaHave River. The downtown waterfront and infrastructure are not susceptible to fluvial flooding, but is vulnerable to sea-level rise and storm surge flooding.
Keywords: flood risk; hydrodynamic modelling; storm surge; lidar; coupled fluvial-tidal model; sea-level rise; return periods flood risk; hydrodynamic modelling; storm surge; lidar; coupled fluvial-tidal model; sea-level rise; return periods
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Webster, T.; McGuigan, K.; Collins, K.; MacDonald, C. Integrated River and Coastal Hydrodynamic Flood Risk Mapping of the LaHave River Estuary and Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada. Water 2014, 6, 517-546.

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