Document Details

High Resolution Measurement of Levee Subsidence Related to Energy Infrastructure in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Jennifer Telling, Adam LeWinter, Noah Knowles, Darren Hauser, Craig L. Glennie, Todd Ericksen, Daniel R. Cayan, Benjamin A. Brooks | August 31, 2018
Summary

We assess flood overtopping potential (when flood water elevation exceeds levee elevation) to the levees surrounding the islands in the interior of California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Because critical natural gas infrastructure is susceptible to overtopping-related disruption, we focus our analysis on regions that are crossed by the network of the state’s natural gas pipelines. We use laser scanning data collected during 2015-2016 to estimate subsidence rates since 2007 when an earlier, Delta-wide, airborne laser-scanning topographic dataset was collected. For each levee studied, we combine: (1) the estimated subsidence rate, (2) a conservative range of sea-level rise projections and, (3) an estimate of the 100-year freshwater flood stage to project the time until exceedance of the federal levee height standard (PL84-99). We find that subsidence rates vary from 0-5 centimeters per year (cm/yr) with mean values of ~1-2 cm/year. Local gradients in subsidence can be on the order of cms/yr over a distance of 10s of meters parallel to the levee crests, and these types of gradients are present near some pipeline crossings. The Sherman Island region has subsidence rates close to a factor of 2 greater than other areas considered. Our projections indicate general ranges of exceedance date from about 2060 (fast sea-level rise scenario) to 2080 (slow sea-level rise scenario) with some places projected to exceed threshold by about 2050.

Product Description

We assess flood overtopping potential (when flood water elevation exceeds levee elevation) to the levees surrounding the islands in the interior of California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Because critical natural gas infrastructure is susceptible to overtopping-related disruption, we focus our analysis on regions that are crossed by the network of the state’s natural gas pipelines. We use laser scanning data collected during 2015-2016 to estimate subsidence rates since 2007 when an earlier, Delta-wide, airborne laser-scanning topographic dataset was collected. For each levee studied, we combine: (1) the estimated subsidence rate, (2) a conservative range of sea-level rise projections and, (3) an estimate of the 100-year freshwater flood stage to project the time until exceedance of the federal levee height standard (PL84-99). We find that subsidence rates vary from 0-5 centimeters per year (cm/yr) with mean values of ~1-2 cm/year. Local gradients in subsidence can be on the order of cms/yr over a distance of 10s of meters parallel to the levee crests, and these types of gradients are present near some pipeline crossings. The Sherman Island region has subsidence rates close to a factor of 2 greater than other areas considered. Our projections indicate general ranges of exceedance date from about 2060 (fast sea-level rise scenario) to 2080 (slow sea-level rise scenario) with some places projected to exceed threshold by about 2050.

Bulk Download

Become a member to access this feature

Get Document


Energy_CCCA4-CEC-2018-003

Keywords:

climate change, flood management, levees, oil and gas, risk assessment, Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, sea level rise, subsidence