Coastal Infrastructure Impacts from Sea Level Rise Induced High Tide Flooding and Groundwater Rise

Jennifer Jacobs

UNH Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Friday, Sep. 21, 2018, 3:10pm
Chase 105

Transportation adds nearly $500 billion to U.S. economy by moving goods and services, connecting people to work and play, and supporting relief services during disasters. Climate change is already impacting our aging transportation infrastructure’s performance via disastrous failures during extreme events and escalating operations and maintenance costs due to accelerated deterioration. While the vulnerability of coastal road infrastructure to surface-water inundation and storm surge effects from sea-level rise (SLR) is well understood, these impacts are only part of the SLR challenge to infrastructure. This seminar will discuss recent research documenting infrastructure impacts from increasing high tide flooding that increase the frequency that coastal communities’ roads are impassable or difficult to pass and rising groundwater which extends the impacts three to four times farther inland than previously mapped for surface- water effects.


Dr. Jennifer Jacobs is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. She is also the Director of the Infrastructure and Climate Network (ICNet) and co-Director of the UNH Center for Infrastructure Resilience to Climate (UCIRC). Her research uses new technologies and big data to understand infrastructure response to climate and extreme weather with a focus on extreme precipitation, flooding, and winter snow and freeze-thaw conditions. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 publication on related topics; including serving as lead Author for the Transportation Sector Chapter of the forthcoming 4th National Climate Assessment and the “White paper on Climate Change Effects on the Interstate System” for the National Academy of Sciences’ Study of the Future Interstate Highway System.