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Water 2012, 4(1), 237-259;

A Perspective on Sea Level Rise and Coastal Storm Surge from Southern and Eastern Africa: A Case Study Near Durban, South Africa

Ethekwini Municipality, 166 K.E. Masinga Road, Durban 4001, South Africa
Centre for Research in Environmental, Coastal and Hydrological Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal 4041, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 February 2012 / Accepted: 20 February 2012 / Published: 5 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
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Recent coastal storms in southern Africa have highlighted the need for more proactive management of the coastline. Within the southern and eastern African region the availability of coastal information is poor. The greatest gap in information is the likely effects of a combination of severe sea storms and future sea level rise (SLR) on the shoreline. This lack of information creates a barrier to informed decision making. This research outlines a practical localized approach to this problem, which can be applied as a first order assessment within the region. In so doing it provides a cost effective and simple decision support tool for the built environment and disaster professionals in development and disaster assessments. In a South African context the newly promulgated Integrated Coastal Management Act requires that all proposed coastal developments take into consideration future SLR, however such information currently does not exist, despite it being vital for informed planning in the coastal zone. This practical approach has been applied to the coastline of Durban, South Africa as a case study. The outputs are presented in a Geographic Information System (GIS) based freeware viewer tool enabling ease of access to both professionals and laypersons. This demonstrates that a simple approach can provide valuable information about the current and future risk of flooding and coastal erosion under climate change to buildings, infrastructure as well as natural features along the coast. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; coastal erosion; flooding; hazards; sea-level rise climate change; coastal erosion; flooding; hazards; sea-level rise

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Mather, A.A.; Stretch, D.D. A Perspective on Sea Level Rise and Coastal Storm Surge from Southern and Eastern Africa: A Case Study Near Durban, South Africa. Water 2012, 4, 237-259.

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