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Multiple flooding sources threaten Honolulu's infrastructure

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Right now and as sea degree continues to rise sooner or later, excessive excessive tide occasions trigger Honolulu, Hawai’i’s major city middle to expertise flooding not simply from water washing straight over the shoreline, but additionally from groundwater inundation because the water desk is pushed towards the floor, and reverse stream via the municipal drainage system. In a examine printed in Scientific Studies, researchers on the College of Hawai’i at M?noa Faculty of Ocean and Earth Science and Know-how, discovered within the subsequent few many years, sea degree rise will possible trigger giant and growing percentages of land space to be impacted concurrently by the three flood mechanisms.

Additional, they discovered that groundwater inundation represents essentially the most in depth flood supply, whereas direct marine inundation represents the least in depth — solely three % of the anticipated flooding.

“That is vital as a result of many individuals assume that sea degree rise could be mitigated by seawalls,” mentioned Shellie Habel, lead creator of the examine and coastal geologist and extension agent with the College of Hawai’i Sea Grant Faculty Program and UH Coastal Geology Group. “However a seawall is not going to cease groundwater inundation. Our outcomes spotlight the necessity to readjust our pondering concerning the flooding that accompanies sea degree rise. We need to make sure to implement flood administration methods that can be efficient at mitigating flooding.”

This requires that every one sorts of flooding be totally assessed.

Figuring out weak areas, infrastructure

Habel and co-authors developed a technique that recognized the varied flood sorts and their extent. Flood maps had been produced by simulating flood areas and depths generated by every of the three mechanisms and by overlapping the simulations to determine areas weak to mixed flooding over the approaching many years.

Colleagues on the UH Sea Degree Middle then developed a statistical mannequin that considers predicted tide and projected magnitudes of native sea degree rise to determine the frequency with which flooding is prone to happen in given areas.

With these flood simulations, the analysis workforce assessed vital infrastructure that’s prone to fail and trigger direct impacts, similar to harmful or impassable roadways, storm drainage inlets prone to fail or act as pathways for added flooding, and non-functional or flooded cesspools.

The impacts had been discovered to be widespread amongst Honolulu’s closely densified major city middle.

Planning for the longer term

“As a result of every kind of flooding infiltrates via distinctive pathways, they may require distinctive engineering methods to handle,” mentioned Habel. “The design of flood administration methods required to mitigate these impacts necessitate site-specific consideration of every mechanism to keep away from being ineffective.”

In partnership with the Honolulu Board of Water Provide, the College of Hawai’i, Hawai’i Sea Grant, and different stakeholders, the authors plan to develop a real-time coastal groundwater monitoring community. Knowledge collected via the monitoring community will assist enhance the capabilities of the modeling similar to the flexibility to include the results of maximum rainfall. The community would additionally present info that might inform the event of brief, mid and long-term flood administration methods.

Story Supply:

Materials offered by University of Hawaii at Manoa. Unique written by Marcie Grabowski. Notice: Content material could also be edited for fashion and size.


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