Assessing the Long-term Impact of Subsidence and Global Climate Change on Emergency Evacuation Routes in Coastal Louisiana

The proposed study will develop a subsidence forecast model for coastal Louisiana that will estimate the change in evacuation road elevations for 2015, 2025, 2050, and 2100. Vertical displacement estimates will be derived from on-going empirical studies and values published in contemporary scientific literature. Model elevation changes will be applied to a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) of coastal Louisiana. Road segments that become inundated according to storm surge models (as used by the National Weather Service) will be identified as vulnerable to climate change and tagged for further assessment. The threshold for climate change susceptibility will be further evaluated for sea level rise estimates anticipated through the century. Information gained from this project will provide transportation engineers and emergency managers with data previously unavailable, which can be used in evacuation modeling, hazard mitigation strategies, sustainability research, coastal restoration efforts, and more.