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Content archived on 2024-05-07

Flash-flood risk assessment under the impact of land use changes an d river engineering works


Large uncertainties affect the policies for mitigation of flood hazard in flashy streams. These descend from complexity of physical processes, including scale problems in both observation and modelling, and from the lacking knowledge on the effects of man-induced changes on flood frequency regime. The present proposal is aimed at reducing the above uncertainties, also searching for a unified approach to risk assessment in Europe. This requires a deeper insight of the unsolved complexity, jointly with an appropriate framework to include the river basin system in the analysis of extreme events. Accordingly, the major objectives of the project are (a)an insigth of complex mechanisms producing extreme flash-floods with (apparently) high return periods; (b)the production of physically-based methods for flood risk assessment, accounting for land use changes, and river engineering works; (c)the substantiation of criteria to evaluate regional sensitivity of flood risk to climate, land use changes, and river engineering works.
These objectives are achieved through

(l)the development of physically-based methods for regionalization of flood frequency estimates, because of the major role of spatial homogeneity;
(2)the development of spatially-distributed methods for flood risk analysis based on derived distribution techniques, towards a unified approach to dynamics of flood frequency, including climate and the river basin system;
(3)the development of spatially-distributed methods for flood risk analysis based on simulation techniques, in order to investigate flood mechanisms and compare flood hydrographs under different scenarios; and
(4)the development of, and demonstration with spatially-distributed models for regional and basin cases studies as a paradigm for different climate, land use, river basin exploitment and flood regime in different countries of Europe (AT, DE, IT, ES, CH and UK). This is to assess the sensitivity of study areas to climate and land use variability. In addition, it will provide flood risk assessments under control and modified climate, land use and river regulation scenarios.

Also, criteria are provided to integrate hydrological risk with historical data on land use, river regulation rules, river and catchment training works, as an essential issue to work out historical, present and modified scenarios, and to predict the response of a basin to future actions.

Project benefits are user-friendly, integrated, spatially-distributed technologies at regional and basin scales; an improved, unified European framework for flood risk assessment; and objective criteria to substantiate the policies for mitigaton of flood hazard in Europe. Economic and social impacts include guidelines to merge flood risk assessments into land and urban planning strategies within a sustainable development perspective; increased awareness of flood risk through its distributed assessment and historical drawbacks; and better allocation of economic resources for mitiaation of flood hazard.

Call for proposal

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Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32
20133 MILANO

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Participants (6)