The Coastal Hazard Wheel - a universal coastal adaptation language

Published: 10th July 2017 11:42Last Updated: 17th July 2017 12:07
Coastal Hazard Wheel

The Coastal Hazard Wheel 3.0 consisting of six coastal classification circles, five hazard circles and the coastal classification codes. It is used by starting in the wheel centre moving outwards through the coastal classification (Rosendahl Appelquist, 2016).

The Coastal Hazard Wheel (CHW) is a new coastal adaptation language that aims to boost adaptation action at local, regional and national level and bridge the gap between scientists, policy-makers and the general public. It functions as a universal coastal adaptation system to address all coastal challenges simultaneously and can be used in both developed and developing countries for information and decision-support. It can be used for three main purposes:

  • Multi-hazard-assessments at local, regional and national level
  • Identification of relevant management options for a specific coastal location
  • As a standardized coastal language to communicate coastal information

The CHW constitutes a key for classifying a particular coastal location, determining its hazard profile, identifying relevant management options and communicating coastal information. The system can be used to support coastal management at local to national level and covers all the main coastal hazards, hereunder the hazards of ecosystem disruption, gradual inundation, salt water intrusion, erosion and flooding. As the CHW incorporates climate change effects in the hazard evaluations, it is especially relevant for climate change adaptation. Furthermore, it is suited for Disaster Risk Reduction under the Sendai Framework. 

The Coastal Hazard Wheel is taken forward by an international partnership of leading knowledge institutions and the core tool is translated to all the official UN languages, while the technical background information and the Coastal Hazard Wheel App currently is provided in English.

The Quick Start Guide can be downloaded from the right-hand column and via the link below, and provides a brief introduction on how to use the CHW to support coastal decision-making and information exchange. It begins with a brief outline of the coastal classification procedure and subsequently describes how to use the CHW for the three purposes listed above. Further technical instructions can be found in the Main manual, available here. Generally, the CHW is well-suited for facilitating communication and information exchange between different management levels, scientists and policy-makers, as the CHW codes can be easily communicated and interpreted. 

Further resources

Go to the Coastal Hazard Wheel platform

Lead Authors

Lars Rosendahl Appelquist, Thomas Balstrøm, Kirsten Halsnæs

Contributing Authors and Reviewers

Robert J. Nicholls, Matthew M. Linham, Jason Spensley, Joost Stronkhorst, Peter Koefoed Bjørnsen, Gareth James Lloyd, Gorm Jeppesen, Ole Vestergaard