DATE2022-06-30 11:54:42
TITLEMapping coastal inundation on regional scale, case of the Apulia region
AUTHORSFederica Rescio (1) ,Piero Lionello (1) ,Luigi Marzo (1) ,Sunna Kupfer (2) ,Athanasios T. Vafeidis (2)
  1. 1) Univesità Del Salento, Lecce (Italia) ,2) Kiel University, Kiel (Germany)
ABSTRACTThe high number of human assets along the coast and its morphology makes the Apulia region particularly at risk because of the ongoing sea level rise. Some risks are directly human-related, others are caused by climate change, others by natural variability and its effect on extreme weather events. In the last decades the expansion of coastal settlements, building of infrastructures, and touristic exploitation of the coastal areas of Apulia have contributed to the reduction of the sediments and affected their redistribution along the coast. Consequently, processes of erosion, coastal flooding and depletion of natural marine-coastal habitats have been triggered along Apulia coastal zones, causing loss of biodiversity, and impacting ecosystems (marine, terrestrial and transitional – e.g., wetlands). Many coastal problems in the Apulia region are attributable to sandy-gravelly beaches that are retreating and to rocky shores with cliffs in rapid evolution. The coastal erosion is influenced by many factors: sea level, currents, winds, and waves, which are all affected by climate change. In particular because of sea level rise and marine storminess, climate change can increase the likelihood of floods with significant social and economics consequences. For this reason, flooding maps are needed to identify population and infrastructure at risk to present and future levels of inundation. In this study we have used a static model (often called bathtub model), to map storm tide flooding at regional scale. This model determines flooded areas as those hydrologically connected to the coast and lower than the elevation of the storm tide. It makes use of a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in addition to a projected flood water level to estimate the flood inundation. In this study we have used a Digital Elevation Model with a resolution of 8 m and different sea-level projections, namely 0.2 m, 0.5 m, describing likely condition in the next decades, and 10 m, describing a possible condition at the end of the 23rd century. Our results show flooded areas especially in the Gulf of Taranto (in the Ionian Sea) and along the coast of Gargano. These maps of flooding may be a very important contribution for understanding coastal inundation issues and for an assessment process. In this way government agencies, stakeholders and public can overlay the potentially impacted areas with other data, such as critical infrastructure, roads, ecologically sensitive areas, demographics, and economic information.