Incorporating DEM Uncertainty in Coastal Inundation Mapping

J.X. Leon, G.B.M. Heuvelink, S.R. Phinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coastal managers require reliable spatial data on the extent and timing of potential coastal inundation, particularly in a changing climate. Most sea level rise (SLR) vulnerability assessments are undertaken using the easily implemented bathtub approach, where areas adjacent to the sea and below a given elevation are mapped using a deterministic line dividing potentially inundated from dry areas. This method only requires elevation data usually in the form of a digital elevation model (DEM). However, inherent errors in the DEM and spatial analysis of the bathtub model propagate into the inundation mapping. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of spatially variable and spatially correlated elevation errors in high-spatial resolution DEMs for mapping coastal inundation. Elevation errors were best modelled using regression-kriging. This geostatistical model takes the spatial correlation in elevation errors into account, which has a significant impact on analyses that include spatial interactions, such as inundation modelling. The spatial variability of elevation errors was partially explained by land cover and terrain variables. Elevation errors were simulated using sequential Gaussian simulation, a Monte Carlo probabilistic approach. 1,000 error simulations were added to the original DEM and reclassified using a hydrologically correct bathtub method. The probability of inundation to a scenario combining a 1 in 100 year storm event over a 1 m SLR was calculated by counting the proportion of times from the 1,000 simulations that a location was inundated. This probabilistic approach can be used in a risk-aversive decision making process by planning for scenarios with different probabilities of occurrence. For example, results showed that when considering a 1% probability exceedance, the inundated area was approximately 11% larger than mapped using the deterministic bathtub approach. The probabilistic approach provides visually intuitive maps that convey uncertainties inherent to spatial data and analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere108727
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Spatial Analysis
model uncertainty
digital elevation models
Uncertainty
spatial data
Oceans and Seas
sea level
kriging
land cover
Sea level
decision making
managers
uncertainty
planning
Climate
climate change
Decision Making
methodology
Managers
Decision making

Keywords

  • sea-level rise
  • climate-change
  • spatial prediction
  • airborne lidar
  • elevation data
  • error
  • geostatistics
  • adaptation
  • topography
  • simulation

Cite this

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title = "Incorporating DEM Uncertainty in Coastal Inundation Mapping",
abstract = "Coastal managers require reliable spatial data on the extent and timing of potential coastal inundation, particularly in a changing climate. Most sea level rise (SLR) vulnerability assessments are undertaken using the easily implemented bathtub approach, where areas adjacent to the sea and below a given elevation are mapped using a deterministic line dividing potentially inundated from dry areas. This method only requires elevation data usually in the form of a digital elevation model (DEM). However, inherent errors in the DEM and spatial analysis of the bathtub model propagate into the inundation mapping. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of spatially variable and spatially correlated elevation errors in high-spatial resolution DEMs for mapping coastal inundation. Elevation errors were best modelled using regression-kriging. This geostatistical model takes the spatial correlation in elevation errors into account, which has a significant impact on analyses that include spatial interactions, such as inundation modelling. The spatial variability of elevation errors was partially explained by land cover and terrain variables. Elevation errors were simulated using sequential Gaussian simulation, a Monte Carlo probabilistic approach. 1,000 error simulations were added to the original DEM and reclassified using a hydrologically correct bathtub method. The probability of inundation to a scenario combining a 1 in 100 year storm event over a 1 m SLR was calculated by counting the proportion of times from the 1,000 simulations that a location was inundated. This probabilistic approach can be used in a risk-aversive decision making process by planning for scenarios with different probabilities of occurrence. For example, results showed that when considering a 1{\%} probability exceedance, the inundated area was approximately 11{\%} larger than mapped using the deterministic bathtub approach. The probabilistic approach provides visually intuitive maps that convey uncertainties inherent to spatial data and analysis.",
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Incorporating DEM Uncertainty in Coastal Inundation Mapping. / Leon, J.X.; Heuvelink, G.B.M.; Phinn, S.R.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 9, No. 9, e108727, 2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Incorporating DEM Uncertainty in Coastal Inundation Mapping

AU - Leon, J.X.

AU - Heuvelink, G.B.M.

AU - Phinn, S.R.

N1 - WOS:000342492700152

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Coastal managers require reliable spatial data on the extent and timing of potential coastal inundation, particularly in a changing climate. Most sea level rise (SLR) vulnerability assessments are undertaken using the easily implemented bathtub approach, where areas adjacent to the sea and below a given elevation are mapped using a deterministic line dividing potentially inundated from dry areas. This method only requires elevation data usually in the form of a digital elevation model (DEM). However, inherent errors in the DEM and spatial analysis of the bathtub model propagate into the inundation mapping. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of spatially variable and spatially correlated elevation errors in high-spatial resolution DEMs for mapping coastal inundation. Elevation errors were best modelled using regression-kriging. This geostatistical model takes the spatial correlation in elevation errors into account, which has a significant impact on analyses that include spatial interactions, such as inundation modelling. The spatial variability of elevation errors was partially explained by land cover and terrain variables. Elevation errors were simulated using sequential Gaussian simulation, a Monte Carlo probabilistic approach. 1,000 error simulations were added to the original DEM and reclassified using a hydrologically correct bathtub method. The probability of inundation to a scenario combining a 1 in 100 year storm event over a 1 m SLR was calculated by counting the proportion of times from the 1,000 simulations that a location was inundated. This probabilistic approach can be used in a risk-aversive decision making process by planning for scenarios with different probabilities of occurrence. For example, results showed that when considering a 1% probability exceedance, the inundated area was approximately 11% larger than mapped using the deterministic bathtub approach. The probabilistic approach provides visually intuitive maps that convey uncertainties inherent to spatial data and analysis.

AB - Coastal managers require reliable spatial data on the extent and timing of potential coastal inundation, particularly in a changing climate. Most sea level rise (SLR) vulnerability assessments are undertaken using the easily implemented bathtub approach, where areas adjacent to the sea and below a given elevation are mapped using a deterministic line dividing potentially inundated from dry areas. This method only requires elevation data usually in the form of a digital elevation model (DEM). However, inherent errors in the DEM and spatial analysis of the bathtub model propagate into the inundation mapping. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of spatially variable and spatially correlated elevation errors in high-spatial resolution DEMs for mapping coastal inundation. Elevation errors were best modelled using regression-kriging. This geostatistical model takes the spatial correlation in elevation errors into account, which has a significant impact on analyses that include spatial interactions, such as inundation modelling. The spatial variability of elevation errors was partially explained by land cover and terrain variables. Elevation errors were simulated using sequential Gaussian simulation, a Monte Carlo probabilistic approach. 1,000 error simulations were added to the original DEM and reclassified using a hydrologically correct bathtub method. The probability of inundation to a scenario combining a 1 in 100 year storm event over a 1 m SLR was calculated by counting the proportion of times from the 1,000 simulations that a location was inundated. This probabilistic approach can be used in a risk-aversive decision making process by planning for scenarios with different probabilities of occurrence. For example, results showed that when considering a 1% probability exceedance, the inundated area was approximately 11% larger than mapped using the deterministic bathtub approach. The probabilistic approach provides visually intuitive maps that convey uncertainties inherent to spatial data and analysis.

KW - sea-level rise

KW - climate-change

KW - spatial prediction

KW - airborne lidar

KW - elevation data

KW - error

KW - geostatistics

KW - adaptation

KW - topography

KW - simulation

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0108727

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0108727

M3 - Article

VL - 9

JO - PLoS ONE

JF - PLoS ONE

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 9

M1 - e108727

ER -