2022 journal article
Effectiveness of indicators for assessing the vulnerability of barrier island highways
TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PART D-TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT, 105.
Highways along barrier islands are highly susceptible to storm impacts like overwash, erosion, and island breaching. The present research evaluates the effectiveness of 14 morphological indicators in predicting highway vulnerability to storm impacts from a data set of seven storms with documented roadway impacts. Multi-indicator functions were also developed and assessed. The research finds that distance from edge-of-pavement to dune toe, volume above mean high water between edge-of-pavement and ocean shoreline, distance from edge-of-pavement to ocean shoreline, and dune crest height above the road are the most skilled individual indicators of highway vulnerability. A multi-indicator function of dune toe elevation and distance from edge-of-pavement to dune toe is more skilled than any of the individual indicators that were evaluated. Some of these indicators can be projected to assess future vulnerability, as well. The results convey the value of geomorphology-based indicators and their potential in larger-scale coastal infrastructure vulnerability assessments.