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Coastal disaster simulation under development to evaluate "green infrastructure" (7 July 2017)


31 Aug 2017



      On 7 July, Associate Professor Nobuhito Mori, of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), led his team at Kyoto University, along with five partners -- NEC Corporation, the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tohoku Gakuin University, Ibaraki University, and the Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI) -- to begin joint research and development on a coastal disaster-simulation system. This project was established to verify and evaluate the effects of "green infrastructure" on reducing disaster damage. "Green infrastructure" refers to natural features and processes, such as mangrove forests, that can be considered infrastructure, along with or in place of concrete and other manmade structures.

      Conceived in response to the anticipated increase in the severity of climate change, the joint project involves the development of a coastal-disaster prediction model based on simultaneously evaluating the atmospheric, tidal, and wave conditions of areas along a typhoon's path.

      The team will also work on models for estimating the effects of mangroves in disaster reduction. The models involve high-resolution integrations of waves and tides, and numerical models of the trees' physical and physiological properties, the latter to be created based on data obtained through ecological distribution surveys and hydraulic model experiments.

      When used in combination, these models are anticipated to help quantitatively verify and evaluate mangroves' disaster-reduction effects in both offshore and coastal areas. These efforts require high-speed calculations to be performed by supercomputers, such as the Earth Simulator developed at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).

      Another focus of this project is to examine the effectiveness of complementing green infrastructure with "gray infrastructure", eg, breakwaters and other coastal structures. The team will work to establish a method for evaluating different combinations of green and gray infrastructures over the mid- to long term.

      Integrated model of a typhoon, storm surges, and high waves

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