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Integrated Probabilistic Analysis and Assessment of the Risks of Inundation from Tsunami, Storm Surges and Sea Level Rise for Vulnerable Coastal Areas of Sri Lanka

NRC Grant:  14-134

Dr. J.J. Wijetunge
Dept. of Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
University of Peradeniya
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Area of Research:Coastal Engineering



a) Probabilistic analysis and assessment of the tsunami hazard and risk.

b) Probabilistic analysis and assessment of the tropical cyclone induced storm surge hazard and risk.

c) Incorporation of probable sea level rise scenarios into the hazard and risk assessments in (a) and (b) above.

d) Incorporation of the effects of the waves, the astronomical tide and the rainfall in storm surge hazard assessments.

e) Quantification of the effect of influence of the translational speed of cyclones on the surge height, the flood depth and the extent of inundation.

f) Improvements to incorporation of ground roughness and man-made features in coastal inundation modeling of both tsunami and storm surge hazards.

g) Integrating the risks of coastal inundation based on hazard assessments identified in (a),(b) and (c) above.


Sustainable development of the coastal environment requires an understanding of the degree of potential impacts of hazards and incorporation of measures to mitigate the risk to life and property. It must also be added that, any overestimation of the risk of hazards significantly increases the cost of development, whereas underestimation may lead to catastrophic consequences. In this context, the outcome of the project will be vital and necessary in the formulation of disaster management policies, development of preparedness plans, allocation of resources for disaster risk reduction and in education and awareness activities in regard to tsunami, tropical cyclone induced storm surges as well as sea level rise hazards.  The findings of the project will be very useful for the Ministry of Disaster Management, Department of Coast Conservation and Department of Meteorology in formulating disaster risk reduction policies and mitigation plans as well as in the provision of early warning.  Moreover, the risk maps of coastal inundation will enable strategic decision making in regard to coastal development planning, for example, by the officials of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Urban Development Authority.  The findings with regard to potential flooding of coastal areas by tsunami, storm surges and sea level rise will also be very valuable for the Ministry of Defense in terms of national security considerations.  The project will also help build technical and further research capability in coastal hazard assessments by producing one PhD.  The equipment acquired to carry out numerical modelling will enable continuation of further work and capacity building.