Geospatial modelling of tropical cyclone risk along the northeast coast of Oman: Marine hazard mitigation and management policies

Shawky Mansour*, Stephen Darby, Julian Leyland, Peter M. Atkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Globally, an increasing and more dispersed population, as well as climate change, have led to growing impacts of environmental hazards, particularly across areas prone to extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones frequently cause fatalities, damage to infrastructure, and disruption to economic activities. The north and northeast regions of Oman, particularly the Oman seacoast, are prone to the storm surges, windstorms and extreme precipitation events associated with these tropical storms. However, integrated spatial risk assessments, for the purpose of mapping cyclone risk at subnational geographic scales, have not yet been developed in this area. Here we evaluate and map cyclone risk using four independent components of risk: hazard, exposure, vulnerability and mitigation capacity. An integrated risk index was calculated using a geographical information system (GIS) and an analytical hierarchical process (AHP) technique, based on a geodatabase including 17 variables (i.e., GIS data layers) and criteria, with rank and weight scores for each criterion. The resulting risk assessment reveals the spatial variation in cyclone risk across the study area and highlights how this variation is controlled by variations in physical hazard, exposure, vulnerability and emergency preparedness. The risk maps reveal that, despite their perceived adaptive capacity for disaster mitigation, the population and assets in low-lying lands situated near the coastline in the east of Muscat, as well as the Al-Batnah south governorates, are at high risk due to cyclones. Furthermore, the coastal zones of the urban Wilayats of the Muscat governorate were also found to be at high, to very high, risk. This study has several policy implications and can provide effective guidelines for natural hazard preparedness and mitigation across the northern coasts of Oman.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104544
JournalMarine Policy
Volume129
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • AHP
  • Cyclone risks
  • GIS
  • Index
  • Mitigation policy
  • Spatial modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law

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