Geospatial modeling of the impact of sea level rise on coastal communities: application of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

Abdulahad Malik, Rifaat Abdalla*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Sea Level Rise (SLR) above the Mean Sea Level (MSL) may pose a substantial risk to coastal regions. This research investigates the possible impact of climate change and sea level rise in coastal areas. It locally analyzes the impact of sea level rise on Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. A model of Potentially Inundated Areas, based on a digital elevation model (DEM) was created, manipulated and processed in ArcGIS. Through this model, the impact of sea level rise was assessed on the surface area, residential areas, and a number of buildings, the number of dwellings, road network, and population. After the susceptible areas were delineated, it was estimated that at worst case scenario of 4 m sea level rise will impact Richmond by losing 46 percent of its total surface area, 462 km of road network will be under water, 637 buildings will be affected, 15 Sq. km of residential areas will be under water, and 30,000 houses will be affected. As a result, 89,000 people in the city will be displaced.

Original languageEnglish
Article number146
JournalModeling Earth Systems and Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2016


  • Climate change
  • Digital elevation model (DEM)
  • Environmental impact
  • Modeling
  • Sea level
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty

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