Portsmouth Coastal Flood Vulnerability and Risk
: assessment and mapping of impacts at microscale.

  • Sarah Percival

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Within the UK, coastal community’s risk to flooding has increased. Enclosed in these flood affected communities, people and areas suffer at different levels according to their vulnerability. This thesis describes the development of a new Coastal Flood Vulnerability and Risk methodology in order to understand, assess and map UK Coastal Flood Vulnerability for day and night time, at the most detailed level within the constraints of data protection. It also explores efficient visualisation of these results using three wards from the island city of Portsmouth: Hilsea, Eastney and St.Thomas. This subsequently led
to an analysis of Coastal Flood Risk, via the combination of the newly developed, detailed Coastal Flood Vulnerability and Hazard Indexes, within ArcGIS, using accessible Ordnance Survey, 2011 UK National Census, and Environment Agency geoinformatic data.

The scale chosen for the analysis was Output Area (neighbourhood), representing the level where principal dimensions of vulnerability are founded. This resulted in a unique framework for measuring coastal flood vulnerability that operates at the level of detail necessary to truly deliver effective solutions and was able to distinguish the different risk levels to areas if a flood occurred at day or night. The detailed assessment provided by the Coastal Flood Vulnerability and Risk methodology developed here, pinpointed previously
unidentified neighbourhoods to the northwest of Hilsea that have significant coastal flood risk levels, specifically at night. For Eastney, areas in the far western and eastern end of the ward were the most vulnerable and at-risk, whereas in St Thomas, coastal flood risk levels were primarily low.

The extra level of detail provided by the newly developed method, allows better targeting of interventions to improve resilience, reduce vulnerability and enhance recovery as well as assisting decision makers to deliver effective risk-reduction policies.
Date of AwardJun 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorRichard Teeuw (Supervisor) & Andy Gale (Supervisor)

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