Geomorphic versus Climatic Drivers of Changing Coastal Flood Risk

Coastal flooding is one of the most dangerous and damaging natural hazards that societies face, and coastal development and climate change are causing a dramatic rise in vulnerability. Since the 19th century, estuary channels have typically been deepened and widened by a factor of two or three, harbor entrances have been deepened and streamlined, and a large proportion of wetlands have been filled over and replaced with neighborhoods. Such geomorphic changes increase flood risk by reducing natural resistance to storm surge and tides.