Dr. John Radke (Senior Research Associate, CCRM & Professor)

Dr. Emery Roe (Senior Research Associate, CCRM)

Dr. Howard Foster (Senior Research Associate, CCRM)


Study participants: John Radke, Greg Biging, Emery Roe, Martine Schmidt-Poolman, Howard Foster, Yang Ju, Will Fourt, William Maier, Wei Chen Hsu, Rosanna Neuhausler, Amna Alruheili, and Tessa Beach.

One of the greatest concerns related to global climate change is the potential for impacts to infrastructure from sea level rise (SLR) associated with extreme storm events. A critical infrastructure system particularly at risk is the natural gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipeline system, a complex of pipelines, storage facilities and control facilities, linked to the distribution infrastructure; much of the transmission infrastructure is located along the nation’s coasts making it vulnerable to potential increased ocean flooding.  To better understand the risks from climate change to the transmission infrastructure, it is necessary to map the spatial extent and depth of future storm inundation to understand where and under what conditions impacts are likely to occur.  Such maps and the flood scenarios upon which they are based lead to questions of institutional and corporate risk assessment procedures and organizational preparedness.

For our California Energy Commission funded study, we integrate GIS and a hydrodynamic model, 3DI, to simulate inundation in California’s San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta regions and assess the potential risk to gas and hazardous liquid pipeline infrastructure from SLR. We build a high resolution digital surface model (DSM) representing features which control the flow of water including buildings, trees, dikes, drainage facilities from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) point cloud data.  Using this surface, we employ the hydrodynamic model to simulate 15-minute interval water level data for a 72-hour, near 100-year, storm event, coupled with 0.5 meter, 1.0 meter, and 1.41 meter SLR, respectively. The output of each inundation scenario is a series of inundated-area grids with 1-hour interval time steps which allow us to analyze both spatial inundation extent and water depth in every hour.  We compare the simulated location and depth of inundation to existing gas pipeline infrastructure to characterize the risks from SLR. Our results demonstrate that under projected SLR greater than 1-meter there are major impacts to critical components of this infrastructure system.  The results of this analysis provide regional governments and infrastructure managers with important spatial information to aid in SLR mitigation planning for their communities and natural gas pipeline systems.   More broadly, this work provides a rich spatial database for better climate change and SLR planning, management, and governance across the region through spatial analysis of future impact and mitigation scenarios.


John Radke (ratt@berkeley.edu), Professor Radke specializes in the development of spatial decomposition algorithms for characterizing, indexing and comprehending spatial data. He will develop the spatial components of the hazards and risk models used in this project. Professor Radke is recognized for his contributions to pattern recognition, specifically the development of metrics and methods for characterizing spatial structure, association and relationships between objects embedded in the landscape. His metrics, embedded in graph theory, attempt to eliminate scale and density constraints common to many popular spatial metrics and produce a more sophisticated definition. The applied results of his research occur within Geographic Information Science and seek to solve real world problems common in planning and design. One such metric has brought us a powerful new tool for delineating boundaries and transition zones (or ecotones) in very complex heterogeneous distributions. This metric allows us to define boundaries and detect change in complex patterns in the landscape that up until now was not possible. Another of his metrics generalizes the notion of neighborly and provides a tool for defining an entire spectrum of neighborhoods where spatial relationships between objects (plants) grow more complex. Specializations: GIS, Computational Morphology.

Emery Roe (emery.roe@berkeley.edu), Emery Roe is a practicing policy analyst working on science, technology and environmental controversies. He specializes in developing better management strategies in large technical systems for the provision of high critical services, such as electricity and water. He is author or co-author of many articles and books, including Narrative Policy Analysis (1994), Taking Complexity Seriously (1998), Ecology, Engineering and Environment (2002) and High Reliability Management (2008). has helped design and direct initiatives on, among others, agriculture and urban sprawl in California’s Central Valley, indicators of ecosystem health in the San Francisco Bay-Delta region, campus/community partnerships in underserved urban minority neighborhoods, and research on issues at the intersection of global population growth, natural resource utilization and the environmentSpecializations: Policy Analysis, High Reliability Management, Critical Infrastructure Reliability, Implementation, Science and Technology.

Howard Foster (h_foster@berkeley.edu), Howard Foster has developed architectures for describing, searching, manipulating, and visualizing geographic information for 20+ years. He developed geographic information systems for UC Berkeley’s Geographic Information Science Center (GISC) and the UC Berkeley Computer Science Division’s Digital Library Project, including the Calmap software for Web users to create and edit spatial data.  At the Digital Library Project he collaborated with Microsoft Research in their development of the Terraserver, and developed software for the NOW [parallel-processing] Cluster for geodata processing.  He developed ground water pollution potential models and databases for the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.  His latest publication is the chapter, “Coping with Delta floods, sharing information in a regional flood management system”, in Water Sustainability Reader: Lessons from California for the 21st Century, Allison Lassiter editor, UC Press (in press).


Meeting Recording (link coming soon)

Meeting Presentation (link coming soon)

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