Global sea levels have risen to .20 meter in the last 140 years due to climate change. The annual sea level rise (SLR) of 1 – 2 millimetres in the past century has doubled since 2006 to 3 – 4 millimetres. The IPCC 2019 and 2021 report shows a projection SLR between 0.3 to 1 meter by 2100 under selected emissions scenarios.
Continuous SLR will impact low-lying coastal areas and cities. When sea level rises, groundwater rises and flooding risk increases, exposing both underground infrastructures and populations and the built environment, including transport (e.g., maritime ports and airports), service networks (e.g., roads), potable water, wastewater and stormwater systems, and electrical utilities.
The review article, “Groundwater Rise and Associated Flooding in Coastal Settlements Due To Sea-Level Rise: A Review of Processes and Methods”, looks at the threats and impacts of SLR on groundwater and infrastructure in coastal cities and settlements.
It reviews methods and tools to assess where the changes in groundwater conditions will occur, the current and future groundwater interactions with urban infrastructure, and the hazards to shallow groundwater with recommendations on how to monitor better and evaluates SLR impacts on coastal groundwater and infrastructure.
Matthew Hughes, a co-author of the paper, writes:
Across the world, coastal cities and settlements are already exposed to tidal flooding, which will be exacerbated by sea-level rise affecting groundwater systems. This article reviews the threats posed by coastal groundwater to underground structures and networks, building foundations and low-elevation roads; it also reviews available methods to assess where changes in groundwater conditions will occur, current and future groundwater interactions with urban infrastructure, and hazards associated with the occurrence of shallow groundwater.
The article discusses the various modelling approaches used to understand coastal groundwater dynamics and outlines further research needed to understand better and manage impacts on infrastructure and the wider built environment.
To read the entire article, click on the link below:
Bosserelle, A. L., Morgan, L. K., & Hughes, M. W.. (2022). Groundwater Rise and Associated Flooding in Coastal Settlements Due To Sea‐Level Rise: A Review of Processes and Methods. Earth’s Future, 10(7). https://doi.org/10.1029/2021ef002580
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Plimmerton and Pauatahanui, New Zealand by Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand – Plimmerton and Pauatahanui, New Zealand, 3rd. Dec. 2010, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18429727