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Maps of a rising water table: The hidden component of sea level rise: Berkeley Distinguished Lectures in Data Science

Lecture: Other Related Seminars | December 4 | 4:10-5 p.m. | 190 Doe Library

Kristina Hill, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, UC Berkeley

Berkeley Institute for Data Science

Map-based data viewers have been available for several years that reveal where coastal flooding is likely to occur as oceans warm and ice sheets melt. Recently, geologists have begun to study the influence of sea level rise on groundwater, and have concluded that in some coastal areas, as much or more land could flood as a result of rising groundwater than will flood directly from saltwater. Yet almost no coastal areas have maps available of depth to the water table, below which soils are saturated with water. My students and I have recently made a map of depth to the water table around San Francisco Bay, and this map reveals previously unrecognized vulnerabilities to sea level rise. By taking groundwater into account, we have revealed some potential problems with adaptation that relies on seawalls and levees alone, and developed an alternative strategy for urban areas that might allow us to live with higher water. This talk will present both the new maps of coastal groundwater depth and some strategies for urban adaptation.

The Berkeley Distinguished Lectures in Data Science, co-hosted by the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) and the Berkeley Division of Data Sciences, features Berkeley faculty doing visionary research that illustrates the character of the ongoing data revolution. This lecture series is offered to engage our diverse campus community and enrich active connections among colleagues. All campus community members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Arrive at 3:30 PM for light refreshments and discussion prior to the formal presentation.

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All Audiences, 510-664-4506;