Sea Level Rise Exposure Area (SLR-XA): Hawaii: 2.0-ft Sea Level Rise Scenario

Modeling, using the best available data and methods, was conducted to determine the potential future exposure of each of the main Hawaiian Islands to multiple coastal hazards as a result of sea level rise. Three chronic flooding hazards were modeled by the University of Hawaii Coastal Geology Group (CGG): a. passive flooding, b. annual high wave flooding, and c. coastal erosion (see descriptions of individual hazard layers for further details). The footprint of these three hazards were combined by Tetra Tech, Inc. to define the projected extent of chronic flooding due to sea level rise, called the sea level rise exposure area (SLR-XA). Flooding in the SLR-XA is associated with long-term, chronic hazards punctuated by annual or more frequent flooding events. Each of these hazards were modeled for four future sea level rise scenarios: 0.5 foot, 1.1 foot, 2.0 feet and 3.2 feet based on the upper end of the IPCC AR5 RCP8.5 sea level rise scenario. This particular layer depicts SLR-XA using the 2.0-ft (0.5991-m) sea level rise scenario. While the RCP8.5 predicts that this scenario would be reached by the year 2075, questions remain around the exact timing of sea level rise and recent observations and projections suggest a sooner arrival.

Assumptions and Limitations: The assumptions and limitations described for the three chronic flooding hazards apply to the SLR-XA. Not all hazards were modeled for each island due to limited historical information and geospatial data. The SLR-XA for the islands of Hawaii, Molokai, and Lanai is based on modeling passive flooding only. Additional studies would be needed to add the annual high wave flooding and coastal erosion to the SLR-XA for those islands.

The SLR-XA is an overlay of three hazards and does not account for interactive nature of these hazards as would be expected by natural processes. As with the individual exposure models, the SLR-XA maps hazard exposure on the present landscape. The modeling does not account for future (unknown) land use changes, including any adaptation measures. The SLR-XA also does not include impacts from less frequent high wave events (e.g., a 1-in-10 year event), storm surge, or tsunami.

For further information, please see the Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report:

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated September 19, 2019, 16:00
Created September 19, 2019, 16:00
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