Erosion hazards and economic damage to critical infrastructure in river catchments: Impact of a warming climate

UK Climate Resilience Programme Webinar Series 2021

Date: 21 July, 12-1pm BST

Speaker: Dr James Cooper (University of Liverpool)

Chair: TBC

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Abstract

Climate change is projected to cause an increase in flooding and extreme erosion as a result of a rise in the frequency and severity of storms. Whilst major advances have been made in flood forecasting, no such major advance has occurred for erosion hazards in river catchments. There has been no attempt to: (1) quantity the uncertainty in the risk posed by these hazards; (2) assess the impact of erosion hazards on critical infrastructure; or (3) evaluate the vulnerability and resilience of these assets to differing storm regimes. Consequently, decision makers currently face questions about mitigation strategies that are very difficult to answer: (1) where to act to make an asset more resilient; and (2) when action is required: now or can investment be postponed?

This presentation will show how we have provided answers to these questions through the development of a state-of-the-art modelling framework and a suite of software tools for the probabilistic assessment, communication and mitigation of erosion risk. Two case studies will be presented, showcasing the forecasting of erosion hazards and economic damage to a range of critical infrastructure, including roads, bridges, agricultural land, buildings and electricity transmission towers.

Presenter biography

Dr James Cooper (School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool) is a geographer with research interests in the impact of extreme storms on erosion, runoff and flooding in fluvial, hillslope and estuarine systems. His research develops new modelling and monitoring techniques to better understand and forecast these impacts.

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