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Article

Uncertainties in Riverine and Coastal Flood Impacts under Climate Change

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Western University, London, ON N6A 5B9, Canada
2
Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Victoria, BC V8N 1V8, Canada
3
Water Rights, Investigations and Modelling Section, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Municipalities, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Laurens M. Bouwer
Water 2021, 13(13), 1774; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131774
Received: 15 May 2021 / Revised: 15 June 2021 / Accepted: 24 June 2021 / Published: 27 June 2021
Climate change can affect different drivers of flooding in low-lying coastal areas of the world, challenging the design and planning of communities and infrastructure. The concurrent occurrence of multiple flood drivers such as high river flows and extreme sea levels can aggravate such impacts and result in catastrophic damages. In this study, the individual and compound effects of riverine and coastal flooding are investigated at Stephenville Crossing located in the coastal-estuarine region of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada. The impacts of climate change on flood extents and depths and the uncertainties associated with temporal patterns of storms, intensity–duration–frequency (IDF) projections, spatial resolution, and emission scenarios are assessed. A hydrologic model and a 2D hydraulic model are set up and calibrated to simulate the flood inundation for the historical (1976–2005) as well as the near future (2041–2070) and far future (2071–2100) periods under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5. Future storm events are generated based on projected IDF curves from convection-permitting Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) climate model simulations, using SCS, Huff, and alternating block design storm methods. The results are compared with simulations based on projected IDF curves derived from statistically downscaled Global Climate Models (GCMs). Both drivers of flooding are projected to intensify in the future, resulting in higher risks of flooding in the study area. Compound riverine and coastal flooding results in more severe inundation, affecting the communities on the coastline and the estuary area. Results show that the uncertainties associated with storm hyetographs are considerable, which indicate the importance of accurate representation of storm patterns. Further, simulations based on projected WRF-IDF curves show higher risks of flooding compared to the ones associated with GCM-IDFs. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; uncertainty; riverine flooding; coastal flooding; compound flooding; projected IDF curves; design storm; Stephenville Crossing climate change; uncertainty; riverine flooding; coastal flooding; compound flooding; projected IDF curves; design storm; Stephenville Crossing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, S.; Najafi, M.R.; Cannon, A.J.; Khan, A.A. Uncertainties in Riverine and Coastal Flood Impacts under Climate Change. Water 2021, 13, 1774. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131774

AMA Style

Wang S, Najafi MR, Cannon AJ, Khan AA. Uncertainties in Riverine and Coastal Flood Impacts under Climate Change. Water. 2021; 13(13):1774. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131774

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wang, Shuyi, Mohammad R. Najafi, Alex J. Cannon, and Amir A. Khan 2021. "Uncertainties in Riverine and Coastal Flood Impacts under Climate Change" Water 13, no. 13: 1774. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131774

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