Contribution of Mangroves and Salt Marshes to Nature-Based Mitigation of Coastal Flood Risks in Major Deltas of the World
- 1k Downloads
Nature-based solutions are rapidly gaining interest in the face of global change and increasing flood risks. While assessments of flood risk mitigation by coastal ecosystems are mainly restricted to local scales, our study assesses the contribution of salt marshes and mangroves to nature-based storm surge mitigation in 11 large deltas around the world. We present a relatively simple GIS model that, based on globally available input data, provides an estimation of the tidal wetland’s capacity of risk mitigation at a regional scale. It shows the high potential of nature-based solutions, as tidal wetlands, to provide storm surge mitigation to more than 80% of the flood-exposed land area for 4 of the 11 deltas and to more than 70% of the flood-exposed population for 3 deltas. The magnitude of the nature-based mitigation, estimated as the length of the storm surge pathway crossing through tidal wetlands, was found to be significantly correlated to the total wetland area within a delta. This highlights the importance of conserving extensive continuous tidal wetlands as a nature-based approach to mitigate flood risks. Our analysis further reveals that deltas with limited historical wetland reclamation and therefore large remaining wetlands, such as the Mississippi, the Niger, and part of the Ganges-Brahmaputra deltas, benefit from investing in the conservation of their vast wetlands, while deltas with extensive historical wetland reclamation, such as the Yangtze and Rhine deltas, may improve the sustainability of flood protection programs by combining existing hard engineering with new nature-based solutions through restoration of former wetlands.
KeywordsDelta Storm surge Mangrove Salt marsh Tidal wetlands Nature-based/ecosystem-based management Risk mitigation
The author would like to thank the different data providers and Dr. Chen Wang for her help in the gathering of the Chinese wetland data.
This work was funded by the University of Antwerp.
- Arkema, Katie K., Greg Guannel, Gregory Verutes, Spencer a. Wood, Anne Guerry, Mary Ruckelshaus, Peter Kareiva, Martin Lacayo, and Jessica M. Silver. 2013. Coastal habitats shield people and property from sea-level rise and storms. Nature Climate Change 3 (10): 913–918. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bright, Eddie A, Phil R Coleman, Amy N Rose, and Marie L Urban. 2013. LandScan 2013. Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge National Laboratory SE - July 1, 2012.Google Scholar
- Coleman, J.M., and O.K Huh. 2004. Major world deltas: A perspective from space. Coastal Studies Institute, and Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.Google Scholar
- Costanza, Robert, Octavio Pérez-Maqueo, M. Luisa Martinez, Paul Sutton, Sharolyn J. Anderson, and Kenneth Mulder. 2008. The value of coastal wetlands for hurricane protection. Ambio 37 (4): 241–248. https://doi.org/10.1579/0044-7447(2008)37[241:tvocwf]2.0.co;2.Google Scholar
- Day, John W., Donald F. Boesch, Ellis J. Clairain, G. Paul Kemp, Shirley B. Laska, William J. Mitsch, Kenneth Orth, et al. 2007. Restoration of the Mississippi Delta: lessons from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Science (New York, N.Y.) 315 (5819): 1679–1684. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1137030. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Dobson, Jerome E., Edward A. Bright, Phillip R. Coleman, Richard C. Durfee, and Brian A. Worley. 2000. LandScan: a global population database for estimating populations at risk. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing 66: 849–857.Google Scholar
- Federal Geographic Data Committee. 2013. Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. In FGDC-STD-004-2013. Second Edition. Washington D.C.: Wetlands subcommittee, Federal Geographic Data Committee and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Google Scholar
- Gedan, Keryn B., Matthew L. Kirwan, Eric Wolanski, Edward B. Barbier, and Brian R. Silliman. 2011. The present and future role of coastal wetland vegetation in protecting shorelines: Answering recent challenges to the paradigm. Climatic Change 106 (1): 7–29. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-010-0003-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Giri, C., E. Ochieng, L.L.L.L. Tieszen, Z. Zhu, A. Singh, T. Loveland, J. Masek, N. Duke, and N. Duke. 2011. Status and distribution of mangrove forests of the world using earth observation satellite data. Global Ecology and Biogeography 20 (1): 154–159. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00584.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Heap, A, S Bryce, D Ryan, L Radke, C Smith, R Smith, P Harris, and D Heggie. 2001. Australian estuaries & coastal waterways: a geoscience perspective for improved and integrated resource management. In Australian Geological Survey Organisation.Google Scholar
- Hinkel, Jochen, Daniel Lincke, Athanasios T. Vafeidis, Mahé Perrette, Robert James Nicholls, Richard S.J. Tol, Ben Marzeion, Xavier Fettweis, Cezar Ionescu, and Anders Levermann. 2014. Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs under 21st century sea-level rise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 (9): 3292–3297. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1222469111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Krauss, Ken W., Terry J. Thomas W. Doyle, Terry J. Thomas W. Doyle, Christopher M. Swarzenski, Andrew S. From, Richard H. Day, and William H. Conner. 2009. Water level observations in mangrove swamps during two hurricanes in Florida. Wetlands 29 (1): 142–149. https://doi.org/10.1672/07-232.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lichter, Michal, Athanasios T. Vafeidis, Robert J. Nicholls, and Gunilla Kaiser. 2011. Exploring data-related uncertainties in analyses of land area and population in the “Low-Elevation Coastal Zone” (LECZ). Journal of Coastal Research 27 (4): 757–768. https://doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00072.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lovelace, John K. 1994. Storm-tide elevations produced by Hurricane Andrew along the Louisiana Coast, August 25–27, 1992. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 94–371. Prepared in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Google Scholar
- McGee, Benton D., Burl B. Goree, Roland W. Tollett, Brenda K. Woodward, and Wade H. Kress. 2006. Hurrican Rita Surge Data, Southwestern Louisiana and Souteasthern Texas, September to November 2005. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 220.Google Scholar
- Mcivor, Anna, Tom Spencer, Iris Möller, and Mark Spalding. 2012. Storm surge reduction by mangroves. Natural Coastal Protection Series:35.Google Scholar
- Mcowen, Chris, Lauren Weatherdon, Jan-Willem Bochove, Emma Sullivan, Simon Blyth, Christoph Zockler, Damon Stanwell-Smith, Naomi Kingston, Corinne Martin, Mark Spalding, and Steven Fletcher. 2017. A global map of saltmarshes. Biodiversity Data Journal 5: e11764. https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.5.e11764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Niu, Zhen Guo, Peng Gong, Xiao Cheng, Jian Hong Guo, Lin Wang, Hua Bing Huang, Shao Qing Shen, YunZhao Wu, XiaoFeng Wang, XianWei Wang, Qing Ying, Lu Liang, LiNa Zhang, Lei Wang, Qian Yao, ZhenZhong Yang, ZiQi Guo, and YongJiu Dai. 2009. Geographical characteristics of China’s wetlands derived from remotely sensed data. Science in China, Series D: Earth Sciences 52 (6): 723–738. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-009-0075-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Small, Christopher, and Robert J. Nicholls. 2003. A global analysis of human settlement in coastal zones. Journal of Coastal Research 19: 584–599.Google Scholar
- Smolders, S., Y. Plancke, S. Ides, P. Meire, and S. Temmerman. 2015. Role of intertidal wetlands for tidal and storm tide attenuation along a confined estuary: a model study. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Discussions 3 (5): 3181–3224. https://doi.org/10.5194/nhessd-3-3181-2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Spalding, M., Anna Mcivor, F.H. Tonneijck, S. Tol, and P. van Eijk. 2014. Mangroves for coastal defence. In Guidelines for coastal managers & policy makers.Google Scholar
- Stark, Jeroen, Yves Plancke, Stefaan Ides, Patrick Meire, and Stijn Temmerman. 2016. Coastal flood protection by a combined nature-based and engineering approach: modeling the effects of marsh geometry and surrounding dikes. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 175: 34–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2016.03.027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Syvitski, J.P.M., A.J. Kettner, I. Overeem, E.W.H. Hutton, M.T. Hannon, G.R. Brakenridge, J. Day, C. Vörösmarty, Y. Saito, L. Giosan, R.J. Nicholls. 2009. Sinking deltas due to human activities. Nature Geoscience 2(10):681-686Google Scholar
- Sutton-Grier, Ariana E., Kateryna Wowk, and Holly Bamford. 2015. Future of our coasts: the potential for natural and hybrid infrastructure to enhance the resilience of our coastal communities, economies and ecosystems. Environmental Science and Policy 51: 137–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2015.04.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- United States Army Corps of Engineers. 2006. Louisiana coastal protection and restoration (LaCPR) preliminary technical report to United States Congress.Google Scholar
- UT BATTELLE LLC. n.d. LandScan frequently asked questions. http://web.ornl.gov/sci/landscan/landscan_faq.shtml. Accessed 16 November 2016.
- Vafeidis, Athanasios T., G. Boot, J. Cox, L. Mcfadden, and R.J. Nicholls. 2005. The diva database documentation. 1–33.Google Scholar