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Quantitative Risk Assessment of Coastal Erosion in the Caribbean Region

Villarroel-Lamb, Deborah

Deborah Villarroel-Lamb

Natural Hazards Review




risk managementerosionshoreline protectionnumerical analysiscoastal managementcase studiesbeachescoastal processes


Operational coastal management and planning requires predictions in the short-, medium- and long-term of shoreline changes. In the Caribbean, medium- to long-term beach morphology predictions are not readily available and this deficiency has imposed severe limitations on the extent of planning that can be accomplished for beaches. Most importantly, the beaches in the Caribbean are associated with other key characteristics that serve as hindrances to generating meaningful medium- to long-term morphological predictions. This research paper demonstrates, by means of a hypothetical case study, how the results of a long-term process-based numerical model can be applied to perform a quantitative risk assessment for the coastal erosion hazard on Caribbean beaches. Beach responses were collated to produce a probability distribution of likely shoreline positions at the end of a simulated time period. Economic losses were investigated where the quantification of the vulnerability of the existing features on the coastline were estimated. Nonetheless, the results did indicate that for the planning of Caribbean beaches, this model can be used as part of a preliminary or detailed risk assessment.


American Society of Civil Engineers


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