Sea level rise : an assessment of risk, South Dunedin, New Zealand
Morris, Kirsty Elizabeth
Sea level rise is one of the most significant long term challenges of the 21st Century, with predictions ranging from a 0.09 to 2m rise in sea level by 2100. Approximately 23% of the world's population lives within coastal areas (Nicholls and Mimura, 1998) and all whom will be potentially affected. For low lying coastal communities such as South Dunedin, New Zealand, a planned adaptation response is vital to reduce the risk to people and infrastructure. The risk assessment process outlined by the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment was applied to South Dunedin to establish the extent and level or risk from sea level rise. Through integrating the GIS methodology developed by Lindley et al. (2006) into the risk assessment process, the spatial distribution of risk could be evaluated, also providing an indication of the spatial distribution of potential adaptation responses. The risk assessment showed that approximately 33% of the South Dunedin study area is at extreme to high risk of sea level rise by 2050, with this value rising to approximately 48% by 2090. This result does not include the compounding effects of storm surges or precipitation and makes the assumption that the St Clair / St Kilda sand dunes which currently protect South Dunedin from the ocean are breached. South Dunedin is home to some of the highest density living within Dunedin City and contains some of City's most vital lifeline infrastructure. Additionally, parts of the research area are amongst the most socially deprived within New Zealand. Due to the large amount of assets and infrastructure and the vulnerability of the people that reside in the area, it is recommended that the local authorities of Dunedin City develop adaptation responses in the immediate future to reduce the level or risk to these people and to the city's essential lifeline infrastructure.
Advisor: Stephenson, Janet
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis