Impacts of Vertical Data Accuracy on Estimating the Effects of Sea Level Rise on Local Highway Infrastructure

Recent studies indicate that climate change will severely threaten our transportation system. As one of the most obvious and direct impacts of climate change, sea level rise is a major concern to the coastal community, especially in regard to transportation infrastructure. Intent to help transportation planners and engineers better understand the impacts of sea level increase, this study uses both Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and the Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data to estimate the inundation possibilities of transportation infrastructure under the 2050 worst sea level increase scenario. Unlike previous studies, this paper explores how the vertical accuracy of the terrain data influences the results of sea level increase¡¯s impact analysis, an important issue which has not been previously studied. The results show that the sample road segment in Pensacola, Florida is estimated to have a 100% inundation possibility using LiDAR data and a 36.6% inundation possibility using DEM data. The results demonstrate that, due to the high vertical accuracy, LiDAR data are more accurate in identifying the crucial locations of vulnerable road segments than DEM data are. The calculated inundation possibility will help local planners to prioritize crucial infrastructure against the predicted increase in sea level. The methodology used in this paper can also be generalized for use in other regions, providing a procedure for using LiDAR data to estimate sea level rise or other flooding impact on crucial transportation infrastructure.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 13p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01154533
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-3961
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 12:01PM