Visualizing Inundation Impacts on Transportation Networks

A major source of uncertainty for many cities and regions throughout the world is the potential impacts of climate change. These impacts include, but are not limited to, extreme weather events, changes in global temperature, droughts, and sea level rise. Of these many potential impacts, sea level rise is perhaps the most relevant to transportation systems: higher sea levels coupled with extreme weather hold the potential to inundate transportation networks and impact the people that live, work and travel to these areas.

My thesis research focuses on modeling inundation impacts on transportation networks in the Boston Metro Region. The data for the "Inundated Assets" visualization is derived from GIS analysis in ArcMap. All other charts have data derived from the MIT - Cube Voyager Four Step Transportation Model. Four step models are used to estimate the travel patterns in a region. The output of these models includes origin destination matrices by different modes, as well as network (Transit & Highway) attributes that describe the performance of the network given the number of users in the system. For more information on four step models please see the basic description. For a more detailed description of methods and models please see this source or contact Michael Dowd.


When modeling inundation in the Cube model system, I assume that all users of the sytem will attempt to complete their trip even if portions of the region are inundated. I am modeling a normal day where the transport network is compromised but people still attempt to complete their normal trips, if possible.

For information on using and interpreting this visualization please reference the Use Video.

Inundated Assets

Inundation Level :  0ft

Click Chart to View Different Asset    

Click to see Percentages    

Transit Ridership Change Given 4ft of Inundation

Accessibility To Jobs

Inundation Level :  0ft

Lost Trips

Inundation Level :  1ft

Auto Network Impacts

Please Click on Slider Circle Icon and Use Arrow Keys to Switch Between Inundation Levels
Inundation Level :  0ft