Source: Acadia University
Research project aims to lessen flood risks in Oxford, Nova Scotia
November 6, 2006
(Halifax, NS) - The Town of Oxford will soon have the information it needs to lessen the risk of floods in the community. Starting this Fall, a joint project between the Town of Oxford, Oxford Frozen Foods, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), and Acadia University will use high-resolution elevation data to produce maps and visualizations of low-lying areas in the Town, and to identify potential flood inundation throughout the Municipality.
In March 2003, the Town of Oxford experienced flooding that led to damage of residential and commercial properties and a declared state of emergency. "After the flooding occurred, we started investigating options to lessen the risk of future flooding and in turn, protect residents and business owners in our Town," says Darrell White, CAO of the Town of Oxford. "Soon, we’ll have the information we need to plan for a safer community."
Much of the expertise required to collect and interpret the data comes from a team of NSCC research scientists and research student interns. NSCC’s Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) in Middleton is responsible for acquiring the high-resolution elevation data using airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR). Post-graduate level research on flood risk assessment will be carried out at Acadia University by Doug Stiff (B.Sc. Queen’s University), an NSCC graduate who has been working on the Oxford project at AGRG. Stiff will be supervised by Dr. Ian Spooner at Acadia, Dr. Chris Hopkinson and Dr. Tim Webster at NSCC.
"We have used LIDAR in settings throughout North America to assess coastal zone flooding," says Dr. Chris Hopkinson, a research scientist with the AGRG. Hopkinson has traveled with NSCC research students and interns to destinations such as South Georgia, USA, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to partner on water resources and flood risk assessment projects. "The Oxford project is the first time we will be using airborne LIDAR to assess inland flood risks. We consider this project to be a great expansion of our research experience, with an important outcome for residents and business operators in Cumberland County."
Businesses such as Oxford Frozen Foods believe it’s important to support such projects. "We have been proud to invest in Cumberland County and we are interested in seeing this region thrive into the future," says David Hoffman, Oxford Frozen Foods. "This research gives our entire community more confidence to think with optimism about our future. It’s impressive that we have access to such expertise in our own province. We’re looking forward to the results of the project."
The flood inundation and flood map visualizations will be delivered as a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) database by September 2007. In addition to the delivery of data, the NSCC and Acadia principal investigators and the graduate student will present methods and conclusions of the research in September 2007.
For more information contact:
Sara Napier NSCC P: 902.491.6781