W3 Seminar: Cascading feedbacks arising from coastal management


11:45 am-12:35 pm
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Phelps Lab Room 101
1953 Museum Road
Gainesville, FL 32611


Katherine Anarde, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University

Developed barriers are tightly-coupled systems driven by feedbacks between natural processes and human actions to maintain development. In this talk, I will use a new exploratory model framework — CASCADE — to explore how barrier evolution is altered by coastal management activities. I will show that the effects of dune and beach management strategies employed in the wake of extreme storms cascade through decades to alter the evolution of barriers, inadvertently inhibiting their resilience to sea level rise and storms. The possible sequences of states for a developed barrier system — including what happens after management ends — depend on internal system dynamics (dune growth and recovery), initial conditions (barrier width and elevation), exogenous conditions (storm sequence), and on the alongshore combinations of management strategies. I will then discuss an impact of these cascading feedbacks — chronic “sunny-day” flooding of low-lying back-barrier communities outside of extreme storms — and how communities in North Carolina are impacted by, and working to adapt to, these chronic floods.


Hosted by

Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands