Risk Quantification for Sustaining Coastal Military Installation Assets and Mission Capabilities
Climate change effects are uncertain, but eustatic (global) sea level rise (SLR) is inevitable. Potential local effects include changes in the frequency and intensity of coastal storms, precipitation, and ocean currents. Environmental effects induced by SLR are far reaching and will vary geographically, requiring local evaluation of increased storm damage to coastal infrastructure, more rapid coastal erosion and shoreline change, saltwater intrusion into aquifers and surface waters, rising water tables, and changes in tidal prism. These effects will occur over time at different rates and/or re-occurance intervals, posing hazards to coastal military installations. Risk is the probability a hazard will act on a system resulting in loss. The degree a system is exposed to losses when hazards are imposed is defined as its vulnerability. The United States has a strong national security interest in understanding these risks and their potential impact on coastal military installation assets and mission capabilities.
The objective of this project is to develop and demonstrate an integrated, multi-criteria, multi-hazard risk assessment framework that will be suitable for evaluating changes in risks to coastal military installation assets and mission capabilities in the Hampton Roads region due to global climate change effects, with a focus on SLR and associated phenomena.
A comprehensive inventory of assets and mission capabilities will be made for specific Hampton Roads military installations. Long-term forcing effects of increasing rates of SLR on associated risk drivers at the sites will be simulated over a 100-year period using well-established hydrologic models and methods, detecting trends of impacts that are considered important to life-cycle decisions. A water depth-frequency-damage paradigm will be used to estimate impacts on military installation assets and mission capabilities with related costs simulated using the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Hazards U.S. Multi-Hazard (HAZUS-MH) model. Risk assessment will involve characterizing military installation assets and mission capabilities to sustain their missions. The research approach will yield a holistic, multi-interest evaluation of risks expressed in terms of expected damages to assets (monetary) and expected damages to activities and established mission performance metrics (non-monetary).
Risk assessment methods to be developed will provide the Department of Defense (DoD) with a transferable approach to evaluate asset and mission capability risks of climate change effects at coastal military installations worldwide. Widespread implementation of this unique multi-criteria multi-hazard approach will enable risk management decision making across military sites rather than strictly on a site-specific basis. This research will assist DoD in its efforts to achieve optimal allocations of risk mitigating efforts, placing climate-induced risks in perspective with non-climate risks. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2012)
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FY 2013 New Start Project Selections
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Ms. Kelly Burks-Copes
USACE - ERDC - EL
Resource Conservation and Climate Change
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