A framework to analyze the vulnerability of European road networks due to Sea-Level Rise (SLR) and sea storm surges

Hande Demirel*, Mert Kompil, Françoise Nemry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


This study proposes a framework to explore the concepts of exposure, vulnerability and connectivity in EU road network and to assess the potential transportation infrastructure sensitivities towards Sea-Level Rise (SLR) and storm surges. The magnitude and significance of impacts were determined and knowledge of network robustness was built up based on existing climate data and on future trends. Various spatial databases were integrated and a four-stage transport model was used to explore the likely impacts of network degradation. The pattern of the network was assessed via both node- and link-based measurements, where different road databases, namely TRANS-TOOLS and Tele Atlas/TomTom, were employed in order to analyze the impact of spatial resolution within network connectivity analyses. This general framework developed for European Union, was tested on a specific and articulated case study area; namely, the north-east coastal region of Spain. The research conducted, yielded useful methods for the analysis of network vulnerability, where impacts are more significant in regional accessibility patterns. Accessibility indicators at the regional level changed drastically, with some regions showing up to a 26% decrease. According to the results of network connectivity indicators, the changes in network topology have reduced the number of alternative routes and placed more pressure on the transport system. The implementation of this framework and quantitative assessment methodologies outlined in this paper could be employed to assist policy makers to recognize the opportunities that may arise or diminish the adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-76
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Accessibility
  • Connectivity
  • European road transport networks
  • Sea-level rise
  • Spatial data modeling
  • Vulnerability


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