Assessment of coastal vulnerability to multi-hazardous events using geospatial techniques along the eastern coast of Bangladesh

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Journal Article
Ocean and Coastal Management, 2019, 181
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd The eastern coastal region of Bangladesh, which has a 377 km-long coastline, is highly vulnerable to multi-hazardous events, such as tropical cyclones, coastal floods, coastal erosion and salinity intrusion. The vulnerability of this coastal region is likely to increase under the future climate change context. This research aims to develop a coastal vulnerability index (CVI) of multi-hazardous events for the eastern coastal region of Bangladesh. Eight parameters, mostly focused on physical vulnerability, were considered in this study. Various thematic layers were prepared for each parameter using spatial techniques, and all parameters were assigned a vulnerability ranking. Finally, a CVI was developed and the related values were categorised into five distinct classes (i.e., very high, high, moderate, low, and very low). Results indicate that approximately 121 km (32%) of the coastline of the study area is in high-to very high-vulnerability zones. Low elevations, gentle slopes, high storm surge impacts, sandy coastlines, high shoreline erosion rates and high sea-level changes are the most important factors of high to very-high vulnerability zones. The moderately vulnerable area covers approximately 119 km (32%) of the coastline. Meanwhile, 78 (21%) and 59 (16%) km of the coastlines are in low-to very low-vulnerability zones, respectively. These coastlines are characterised by steep slopes with high elevations, low tide range and storm surge heights as well as less erosion. The CVI results were validated by qualitative observations acquired from the field. The findings of this study can be applied by policymakers and administrators to develop effective mitigation plans and minimise the likely impacts of coastal multi-hazards.
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