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01-08-2020 | Original Article | Issue 15/2020

Environmental Earth Sciences 15/2020

Assessment of the coastal vulnerability to sea level rise: Sultanate of Oman

Journal:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Issue 15/2020
Authors:
Mohamed Hereher, Talal Al-Awadhi, Salim Al-Hatrushi, Yassine Charabi, Shawky Mansour, Noura Al-Nasiri, Youssef Sherief, Ahmed El-Kenawy
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Abstract

The Sultanate of Oman overlooks three water bodies: The Arabian Sea, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf with a coastal face of more than 3000 km. Due to the recent global climate change, storm intensity has increased and inundation of coastal areas is inevitable. The pattern of coastal flooding depends on the geomorphologic and oceanographic characteristics of the coastal zone. The current research aims to delineate the susceptibility of Omani coast to the sudden sea level rise from cyclones and tsunamis using the coastal vulnerability index (CVI). Five physical parameters were implemented to perform the CVI, namely: The coastal geomorphology, elevation, slope, tidal range and bathymetry of the nearshore zone. Data were extracted from remotely sensed images and government resources assisted by field surveying. Geospatial analysis using geographical information system (GIS) was performed to manipulate and process the CVI from the collected data. Results showed that high vulnerable coastal regions to sea level rise account for 805 km of the coast, mostly along Al-Batinah plain in the north and along some scattered sectors at the eastern coast of the country. Major settlements and infrastructures are located at high CVI category. Moderate vulnerable coasts total 695 km mostly at the headlands along the Arabian Sea, whereas the low vulnerability coasts include the remaining shores along Musandam Peninsula and the eastern coast. This study provides a national map of the coastal vulnerability to the sea level rise, which is important for urban planning and decision supports for a sustainable management of Omani coastal zone.

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