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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-159
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-159
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 24 May 2019

Research article | 24 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Reconstructing patterns of coastal risk in space and time along the US Atlantic Coast, 1970-2016

Scott B. Armstrong and Eli D. Lazarus Scott B. Armstrong and Eli D. Lazarus
  • Environmental Dynamics Lab, School of Geography & Environmental Science, University of Southampton, UK

Abstract. Despite interventions intended to reduce impacts of coastal hazards, the risk of damage along the US Atlantic Coast continues to rise. This reflects a long-standing paradox in disaster science: even as physical and social insights into disaster events improve, the economic costs of disasters keep growing. Risk can be expressed as a function of three components: hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. Risk may be driven up by coastal hazards intensifying with climate change, or by increased exposure of people and infrastructure in hazard zones. But risk may also increase because of interactions, or feedbacks, between hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. Here, we present a data-driven model that describes trajectories of risk at the county scale along the US Atlantic Coast over the past five decades. We also investigate indications of feedbacks between risk components that help explain these trajectories. Our findings suggest that spatially explicit modelling efforts to predict future coastal risk need to address feedbacks between hazard, exposure, and vulnerability to capture emergent patterns of risk in space and time.

Scott B. Armstrong and Eli D. Lazarus
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Status: open (until 19 Jul 2019)
Status: open (until 19 Jul 2019)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Scott B. Armstrong and Eli D. Lazarus
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Short summary
This work examines relationships between coastal hazard, exposure, and vulnerability to describe trajectories of risk at the county scale along the US Atlantic Coast over the past five decades. Our findings suggest that modelling efforts to predict future coastal risk need to address feedbacks between hazard, exposure, and vulnerability to capture emergent patterns of risk in space and time.
This work examines relationships between coastal hazard, exposure, and vulnerability to describe...
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