Multimodal transportation system protection against sea level rise

Jiayun Sun, Aaron C.H. Chow, Samer Michel Madanat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transportation infrastructure resilience is an important component of a region's ability to recover from natural disasters. While Sea Level Rise (SLR) is becoming inevitable with climate change, little is known of the impact of protection strategies on multiple modes of transport. The present paper proposes a framework where a range of coastal protection strategies are undertaken in the case of one meter of SLR (expected by the year 2100). The methodology incorporates high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations using the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) and traffic simulations using the Multi-Agent Transport Simulation (MATSim) to quantify the potential impact of SLR and protection strategies on both the highway and public transit systems in the San Francisco Bay Area. The results of the traffic simulations are analyzed at the regional and Transportation Analysis Zone (TAZ) levels. Modeling results show that coastal protection of one area will affect the transportation system (sometimes negatively) in areas beyond its vicinity. The improved spatial resolution, and the integration of highway and transit networks in a unified model, reveal transportation phenomena that were not identified in previous studies. By quantifying the impacts on commuters’ mobility in different TAZs, the methodology can be used to develop effective and inclusive strategies against SLR for a given region of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102568
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Inundation
  • Multimodal
  • Operational landscape units
  • Public transit
  • Sea level rise
  • Transportation infrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • General Environmental Science


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