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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Earth Sci. | doi: 10.3389/feart.2019.00203

From hazard to consequences: evaluation of direct and indirect impacts of flooding along the Emilia-Romagna coastline, Italy

  • 1Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, Italy
  • 2Middlesex University of London, United Kingdom

Managing coastal flood risk at the regional scale requires a prioritisation of economic resources along the shoreline. Advanced modelling assessment and open-source tools are now available to support transparent and rigorous risk assessment and to inform managers and stakeholders in their choices. However, the issues lay in data availability and data richness to estimate coastal vulnerability and impacts.
The Coastal Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF) has been developed as part of the Resilience Increasing Strategies for Coasts - Toolkit (RISC-KIT) EU FP7 project. The framework provides two levels of analysis. In the first phase, a coastal index approach is applied to identify a restricted number of potential critical areas for different hazards (erosion and flooding). In the second phase, an integrated hazard and impact modelling approach is applied in the critical areas to assess the direct and indirect impacts of storm events using a matrix-based approach and a systemic analysis. The framework was tested on the coastline of the Emilia-Romagna region (northern Italy) for two probabilistic coastal storms with representative return periods of 10 and 100 years. In this work, the application of the second phase of the CRAF is presented for two sites, Lido degli Estensi-Spina (Ferrara province) and Milano Marittima (Ravenna province). The hazard modelling of floods was implemented using a coupling of XBeach and Lisflood-FP. The INtegrated DisRuption Assessment (INDRA) model was applied to quantify direct and indirect impacts. The impact assessment focused on household’s financial recovery, business disruption and financial recovery, transport network disruption and risk to life. The business sector considered comprised the key economic activities related to the sun-and-beach tourism, which is one of the main drivers of the regional economy. A Multi-Criteria Analysis was applied to support decision-makers to identify the most critical site. The importance of detailed physical and socio-economic data collected at the regional and local levels is highlighted and discussed, together with the importance to involve different stakeholders in the process (e.g. through interviews and surveys). The limitations of the applied approach due to data quality and availability and to the assumptions introduced in the hazard and disruption models are highlighted.

Keywords: Coastal risk, Vulnerability, hazard, Exposure, INDRA model, LISFLOOD, XBeach, storm, Inundation

Received: 28 Feb 2019; Accepted: 25 Jul 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Armaroli, Duo and Viavattene. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Clara Armaroli, Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy, clara.armaroli@unife.it