Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise in the Auckland Region and the Applicability of Coastal Vulnerability Indices

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dc.contributor.advisor Ford, M en
dc.contributor.advisor Kench, P en Twomey, Rachel en 2013-12-12T22:13:27Z en 2013 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract The vulnerability of coastal areas to sea level rise-associated hazards is an issue which is becoming increasingly prevalent as development on the coast continues. Sea levels around New Zealand have risen on average by 0.17 m over the last century and this trend is expected to continue. As a result, existing coastal hazards such as erosion and inundation will be exacerbated; therefore an understanding of those areas which are most vulnerable to such hazards is essential for planning and management efforts. This thesis examines coastal vulnerability in the Auckland region and evaluates the use of vulnerability indices as a tool for assessing this vulnerability. Indices are considered advantageous through their ability to provide rapid assessment which can be conducted via a desktop approach. Three indices were selected for use in determining the levels of geophysical, social and combined physical and socio-economic vulnerability faced by 26 coastal sites around the Auckland region: the US Geological Survey Coastal Vulnerability Index, the Social Vulnerability Index (Wu et al., 2002) and the Multi-Scale Coastal Vulnerability Index (McLaughlin and Cooper, 2010), respectively. The results demonstrated a large degree of spatial variability around Auckland. The physical vulnerability scores were driven mostly by rate of shoreline change, significant wave height and geomorphology. Social vulnerability was not sensitive to any one variable, while the combined physical and socio-economic index was also mainly influenced by coastal characteristics. Each of the three indices was found to have its own strengths and weaknesses, particularly in terms of defining spatial limitations, considering temporal dynamics and weighting of variables. However, with improved data availability, vulnerability assessment using indices can be easily undertaken and repeated at regular intervals to track temporal changes in vulnerability levels, particularly in response to management strategies. If monitoring and modelling of physical coastal characteristics is improved, indices have the potential to be highly valuable tools for ‘first pass’ regional assessments of vulnerability. From this, sites with high vulnerability can be prioritised for management and planning initiatives in order to increase adaptive capacity and resilience to hazards in the face of sea level rise. Key words: coastal vulnerability; sea level rise; vulnerability indices; coastal hazards; vulnerability assessment; Auckland. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise in the Auckland Region and the Applicability of Coastal Vulnerability Indices en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en en
pubs.elements-id 418305 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2013-12-13 en

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