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Coastal erosion, embankment protection and people's vulnerability in the lower Meghna region of Bangladesh: A comparison of pre- and post-embankment protection

Authors: Md Sariful Islam*, Virginia Tech, Thomas Crawford, Virginia Tech, Munshi Khaledur Rahman, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Bimal Kanti Paul, Kansas State University, Scott Curtis, East Carolina University, Md. Giashuddin Miah, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, M. Rafiqul Islam, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Remote Sensing, Coastal and Marine
Keywords: Coastal erosion, Embankment, Vulnerability, Bangladesh
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/10/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual Track 3
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Coastal Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to shoreline erosion. Shoreline erosion is a chronic
problem in the region that is especially prominent in the Lower Meghna estuary which is home a
dense population of low socio-economic status. Erosion rates are among the highest in the world
causing loss of productive land resources and disruption to households who continually must
anticipate and respond to erosion within an adaptation and resilience framework. Engineered
embankment is a strategy in coastal Bangladesh to mitigate impacts of erosion. This research
investigates the erosion problem and embankment strategy for Lakshimpur district situated along
the Lower Meghna estuary using a combination of geospatial and social science perspectives.
Annual high resolution (3m) multi-spectral imagery for 2011 to 2019 is used to quantity rates of
erosion. A special focus is to reveal the mitigative and spillover effects of a 3.5 km embankment
constructed along a central portion of the district’s 15 km shoreline that was completed during
2015-2017. Imagery from pre and post-construction imagery reveals a halting of erosion for the
embankment shoreline with continued and in some cases accelerated levels or erosion for
unprotected areas proximal to the embankment. Household survey data (n=400) are used to
describe district variation in perceptions of erosion and embankment and expectations for future
erosion mitigation as a result of embankment.

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