Welcome to ICNet

The Infrastructure & Climate Network (ICNet) is a network of over 50 academics, students, and practitioners who are dedicated to accelerating climate science and engineering research in the Northeastern United States. ICNet focuses on climate change and sea level rise impacts and adaptation for sustainable bridges, roads, and transportation networks.  ICNet was established in October 2012 with support from the National Science Foundation.

ICNet Spring 2015 Webinars

ICNet's Webinar Series continues this spring with presentations on Infrastructure and Climate Change.
Bridge design, dynamic downscaling for civil engineers, climate change and resiliency are topics covered in the spring series.

Tue, May 12, 2015 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
FHWA-MassDOT pilot project: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Options of the Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) system in Boston, Massachusetts

The Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) system is a critical link in the regional transportation network. It is a vitally important asset not only to the City of Boston, but also to the surrounding region for which Boston is an economic focus. In the event of a disaster, the CA/T is an irreplaceable critical link for evacuation, emergency response and recovery services. It also serves as an essential link to Logan International airport, the major airport in the region. For all these reasons, the CA/T must be considered to have a very low tolerance for risk of failure and hence, should require the highest level of preparedness. A high-resolution, coupled hydrodynamic-wave model (ADCIRC/SWAN) was developed to simulate flooding due to the combined influences of sea level rise, storm surge from hurricanes and Nor’easters, wave action and tides using a Monte Carlo approach, for current and future conditions. Composite flood distributions were developed at each model node to assign flood depth exceedance probabilities for the purpose of risk-based planning and design. Both regional and local adaptation strategies to mitigate identified vulnerabilities were recommended. This webinar will present the approach that was developed, the obstacles that were overcome and the lessons that were learned as we identified vulnerabilities and recommended actions for this highly complex and critical transportation system.

Ellen Douglas PE, PG, Ph.D., is an associate professor in Environmental Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Boston with broad expertise in the analysis of water-related issues. Her research utilizes computer modeling and data analysis to define and support sustainable management policies and practices related to water resources and climate change adaptation. Current research topics include 1) evaluating the impacts of climate change on New England hydrology, 2) assessing the vulnerability of coastal communities and infrastructure to flooding due to extreme precipitation and sea level rise and 3) improving methods for monitoring the performance of river restoration through dam removal. Dr. Douglas is particularly interested in updating statistical methods and modeling approaches used in hydrologic design to accommodate a nonstationary climate. Dr. Douglas has a B.S. in hydrology and M.S. in civil engineering from University of New Hampshire, and a PH.D. in Water Resources Engineering from Tufts University.

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