Author/s:

Ahmed, A.
Drake, F.
Nawaz, R.
Woulds, C.

Publisher:

Elsevier B.V

This paper portrays the application of Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCMs) to elicit expert views on current condition and future scenario of coastal susceptibility to erosion in Bangladesh. The geomorphological characteristic of the coastal area is highly dynamic where land erosion and accretion with different rates are constant phenomena. This research focuses on three coastal zones: western, central and eastern that comprise the entire coastal area of the country. Using ‘Mental Modeler’ software this study quantified experts’ judgements on the issue and developed FCMs by way of arranging workshops. At the basis, this study identified 33 factors of susceptibility to erosion for current baseline conditions. Considering future projections of hydro-climatic phenomena, this study accentuated potential factors of susceptibility to erosion for future scenario under three time-slices: near-future (2020), future (2050) and far-future (2080). The results generated from FCMs show that some factors such as sedimentation, soft and unconsolidated soils, shelf bathymetry, funnel shape of the Bay of Bengal, wave action, river discharge, monsoon wind, cyclone and storm surges, excessive monsoon rain, high tidal energy, variations of tidal range and sea level rise are highly influential that yielded higher centrality scores for both current and future susceptibility of the area to erosion. The experts’ interpretations demonstrate that the future susceptibility to erosion might be higher in the central zone compared to the western and eastern zones of the coastal area. This is the first time that FCM based approach was applied to evaluate expert views on coastal susceptibility to erosion for the country. This study suggests coastal managers, planners and policymakers to consider the current and future factors of susceptibility of coastal lands for taking specific measures options. This study is also significant from socio-economic and demographic contexts of any densely populated coastal area like Bangladesh.

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