Special Issue "Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Hazards".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. José María Bodoque

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering, University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), Avda. Carlos III s/n, 45071 Toledo, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: hydrologic modeling; hydromorphology; flood assessment; geomorphology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Historically, flood risk management has been based on the development of fragmented approaches, mainly focused on partial analysis of hazards, insofar as only the floodable area was considered, and in which other important factors, such as sediment loading or flow velocity, were frequently neglected. In this approach, risk mitigation was primarily based on the design of structural measures (e.g., levees, dams, etc.), which were intended to ensure total protection of the population exposed to floods, without considering the environmental impact of these measures, or their possible downstream effects in terms of increasing flood risk.

In recent years, there has been a change of model towards an integrated risk management approach, as the adoption of strictly structural solutions neither is sustainable from an environmental point of view nor it is a guarantee of total protection. For instance, structural mitigation measures, such as levees, tend to lead to loss of lateral connection between river and floodplain, leading to the loss of a great deal of the ecosystem services linked to the fluvial environment. Such measures also have the potential to increase damage downstream, or even in situ, if measures fail. In addition, structural measures are not an absolute guarantee of risk mitigation, as in their design the impact of climate change, or the uncertainty analysis including its propagation among the different steps linked to the flood risk management process have not usually been considered. On the other hand, risk management based solely on structural measures can create a false sense of security among the population, as flood protection is assumed to be complete. Another reason that explains the change in the model is the non-integration of the social dimension into the risk analysis and management process, which has determined that flood risk management plans have often been unsuccessful.

As a result, flood management is leaving the principle of absolute protection, and is beginning to promote, instead, more proactive strategies, which are based on integrated risk management. In this regard, the design of flood risk management plans has been developed in recent years in which risk mitigation, based on the characterization of the uncertainty inherent to the process of risk analysis and management, and the reinforcement of social resilience are objectives compatible with the conservation or restoration of the ecological integrity of the river-floodplain systems. In this context, the concept of resilience provides a practical framework that facilitates risk management plans to identify tangible measures that can reduce exposure and, as a result, improve the reliability of risk management.

This Special Issue of Geosciences discusses recent advances in “Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods”, providing examples from research conducted all over the world. Among the topics to be discussed are:

  1. Flood risk assessment and management under climate change.
  2. Improving flood frequency analysis by extending the systematic record with non-systematic data.
  3. Incorporation of the sediment loading and woody debris into the hydrodynamic modeling, analyzing its influence as amplifying factor of flood risk.
  4. Flood risk mapping based on stochastic approaches.
  5. Cost-benefit analysis of mitigation measures (including natured-based solutions).
  6. Restoration of river-floodplain systems. The flood pulse concept.
  7. Valuing ecosystemic services from wetlands restoration.
  8. Vulnerability analysis of people and assets located in flood-prone areas, including cultural heritage exposed to floods.
  9. Integrate risk perception analysis and the design and implementation of risk communication strategies to flood risk management plans.

Original research on these topics will be welcome for this Special Issue.

Dr. José María Bodoque
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Room for Rivers: Risk Reduction by Enhancing the Flood Conveyance Capacity of The Netherlands’ Large Rivers
Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060224
Received: 20 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Netherlands has just finished implementing the Room for the Rivers program along the Rhine and Meuse Rivers in response to increasing river discharges. Recently, making more room for the river is, however, being challenged for future application because the flood defenses are [...] Read more.
The Netherlands has just finished implementing the Room for the Rivers program along the Rhine and Meuse Rivers in response to increasing river discharges. Recently, making more room for the river is, however, being challenged for future application because the flood defenses are assessed to be too weak and will need reinforcement anyway. To be able to decide on the most desirable policy for the remainder of the century, we require knowledge of all benefits and costs of individual interventions and strategic alternatives for flood mitigation. In this paper, we quantify some benefits of making more room for the rivers. We recognize and quantify two risk-reducing effects and provide results of analyses for the Rhine and Meuse Rivers in The Netherlands. Making room for rivers was originally advocated because it (1) reduces the consequences of flooding, as well as (2) reduces the probability of failure of the embankments. We have now quantified these effects allowing translation into risk reduction proper. Moreover, larger floodplain surface area may influence the relationship between discharge and flood level, which implies that rivers with widened floodplains are less sensitive to uncertainties about future river discharges. This does not reduce risk proper, but makes the river system more robust, as we shall argue in the discussion where we present risk reduction and robustness as complementary perspectives for assessing strategic alternatives for flood risk management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Open AccessArticle
The Monetary Measurement of Flood Damage and the Valuation of the Proactive Policies in Sicily
Geosciences 2018, 8(4), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8040141
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
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Abstract
Although floods, as well as other natural disasters, can be considered as relevant causes of intra-generational inequalities, frequent catastrophes and the resulting damage to the territory can be seen as a consequence of a generalized indifference about future. Land protection is one of [...] Read more.
Although floods, as well as other natural disasters, can be considered as relevant causes of intra-generational inequalities, frequent catastrophes and the resulting damage to the territory can be seen as a consequence of a generalized indifference about future. Land protection is one of the societal issues typically concerning inter-generational solidarity, involving the administrative system in the implementation of proactive policies. In the last three decades, the widespread demand for subsidiarity has made local communities more and more independent, so that attention to the long-term effects—typically concerning the territorial system as a whole at geographical scale—has been dispersed, and the proactive policies that come from the central government have become more ineffective. Regarding the case of the 2009 flood in the Fiumedinisi-Capo Peloro river basin in North Eastern Sicily, we propose an economic valuation of the land protection policy. This valuation, compared to the cost of recovery of the damaged areas, can provide helpful information on the decision-making process concerning the trade-off between reactive and proactive land policy. The economic value of land protection was calculated by means of the method of the imputed preferences, to obtain a real measure of the social territorial value from the point of view of the harmony between social system and environment. This method consists of an estimate based on the attribution of the expenditures according to the importance of the different areas. Since the value of land protection has been calculated by discounting the expenditures stream, some considerations about the economic significance of the proactive policy are referred to the role played by the social discount rate in the inter-temporal economic calculation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Open AccessArticle
A Risk-Based Approach to Shelter Resilience following Flood and Typhoon Damage in Rural Philippines
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020076
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
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Abstract
The Philippines is exposed to numerous typhoons every year, each of which poses a potential threat to livelihoods, shelter, and in some cases life. Flooding caused by such events leads to extensive damage to land and buildings, and the impact on rural communities [...] Read more.
The Philippines is exposed to numerous typhoons every year, each of which poses a potential threat to livelihoods, shelter, and in some cases life. Flooding caused by such events leads to extensive damage to land and buildings, and the impact on rural communities can be severe. The global community is calling for action to address and achieve disaster risk reduction for communities and people exposed to such events. Achieving this requires an understanding of the nature of the risks that flooding and typhoons pose to these communities and their homes. This paper presents the findings from a field based case study assessment of three rural settlements in the Philippines, where typhoons and associated flooding in recent years has caused significant damage to houses and livelihoods, leading to the reconstruction of homes that more often than not reproduce similar structural vulnerabilities as were there before these hazards occurred. This work presents a methodology for risk assessment of such structures profiling the flood and wind hazards and measuring physical vulnerability and the experience of communities affected. The aim of the work is to demonstrate a method for identifying risks in these communities, and seeks to address the challenge faced by practitioners of assisting communities in rebuilding their homes in more resilient ways. The work set out here contributes to the discussion about how best to enable practitioners and communities to achieve the sought for risk reduction and especially highlights the role that geoscience and engineering can have in achieving this ambition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Flood Hazard at River Basin Scale with an Index-Based Approach: The Case of Mouriki, Greece
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020050
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 3 February 2018
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Abstract
Defining flood-prone areas is particularly important for policy makers, in order to design mitigation strategies and implement flood risk management planning. The present research applies a multicriteria index method to assess flood hazard areas at a river basin scale, in a geographic information [...] Read more.
Defining flood-prone areas is particularly important for policy makers, in order to design mitigation strategies and implement flood risk management planning. The present research applies a multicriteria index method to assess flood hazard areas at a river basin scale, in a geographic information system (GIS) environment. The developed methodology has been applied for an area in northeastern Greece, by processing information of seven parameters: flow accumulation, distance from the drainage network, elevation, land use, rainfall intensity and geology. The method assigns a relative importance to each of the parameters for the occurrence and magnitude of flooding, and the relevant weight values are defined through an “analytical hierarchy process”. Subsequently, and according to the relative importance of each index, the spatial information is superimposed, resulting in a flood hazard map of the studied region, an area in northern Greece. The obtained results indicate flood-prone zones, with a very high flood hazard mainly occurring at the lowlands in the vicinity of the drainage network. The provided flood hazard map supports planning activities and mitigation plans that are crucial to protect both the agricultural activities and existing infrastructure from future flood events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Open AccessArticle
Flood Hazard Management in Public Mountain Recreation Areas vs. Ungauged Fluvial Basins. Case Study of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, Canary Islands (Spain)
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 31 December 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4474 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Las Angustias River is an ungauged stream in the Caldera de Taburiente National Park (Spain), where frequent intense flash-flood events occur. The aim of this research is to analyze the flood hazard at the Playa de Taburiente. Based on the limited information available [...] Read more.
Las Angustias River is an ungauged stream in the Caldera de Taburiente National Park (Spain), where frequent intense flash-flood events occur. The aim of this research is to analyze the flood hazard at the Playa de Taburiente. Based on the limited information available (short time-series of daily precipitation), a statistical frequency analysis of 24 h rainfall was completed and the precipitation results were transformed into surface runoff. To determine if the model underestimates the flows that are generated in the basin, the dendro-geomorphological information available was used to calibrate results. The results of the HMS model were significantly lower. At this point, both the rainfall data and the rainfall-runoff model were re-analyzed to maximize the rainfall intensity values and the runoff generated (increasing the CN value for the basin). For the 1997 flood event, a 1250 m3·s−1 flood minimizes the RMSE for the disturbed tree sample; this flow value also clearly exceeds any peak flow derived from the rainfall-runoff analysis. It is only when rainfall intensity and surface runoff are maximized that the peak flows obtained approximate those associated with dendro-geomorphological data. The results highlight the difficulties of flood hazard management in ungauged torrential basins in mountain recreational areas (such as National Parks). Thus, in the absence of flow records, when considering the maximum rainfall intensity scenario may be a useful and effective tool for flood risk management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Open AccessArticle
The Integrated System of Hydrological Forecasting in the Ussuri River Basin Based on the ECOMAG Model
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 26 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper considers the main principles and technologies used in developing the operational modeling system for the Ussuri River Basin of 24,400 km2 based on the automated system of hydrological monitoring and data management (ASHM), the physical-mathematical model with distributed parameters ECOMAG [...] Read more.
This paper considers the main principles and technologies used in developing the operational modeling system for the Ussuri River Basin of 24,400 km2 based on the automated system of hydrological monitoring and data management (ASHM), the physical-mathematical model with distributed parameters ECOMAG (ECOlogical Model for Applied Geophysics) and the numerical mesoscale atmosphere model WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting Model). The system is designed as a freely combined tool that allows flexible changing of the forecasting and informational components. The technology of inter-model and cross-platform interoperability is based on the use of the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) web services and the Open Geospatial Consortium Open Modelling Interface (OGC OpenMI) standard. The system demonstrates good performance in short-term forecast of rainfall floods and reproduces complex spatio-temporal structure for the runoff formation during extreme rainfall. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Conveyance-Based DEM Correction Technique on NED and SRTM DEMs for Flood Impact Assessment of the 2010 Cumberland River Flood
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040132
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 14 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed the uncertainty in flood impact assessment (FIA) that may be introduced by errors in moderate resolution regional and moderate resolution global Digital Elevation Models (DEM). One arc-second National Elevation Dataset (NED) and one arc-second Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEMs [...] Read more.
This study assessed the uncertainty in flood impact assessment (FIA) that may be introduced by errors in moderate resolution regional and moderate resolution global Digital Elevation Models (DEM). One arc-second National Elevation Dataset (NED) and one arc-second Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEMs were selected to represent moderate resolution regional and global DEMs. The relative performance for scenarios based on each of the DEMs was compared to a “control” terrain (combination of surveyed river bathymetry and a 1/3 arc-second LiDAR for floodplains)-based scenario. Furthermore, a conveyance-based DEM correction technique was applied to the DEMs for investigating the suitability of the technique on selected DEMs, and determining subsequent improvement in the FIA. The May 2010 flood on the Cumberland River near Nashville, TN, was selected as the case study. It was found that the hydraulic properties necessary to implement the selected DEM correction technique could be more readily estimated from NED compared to SRTM. However, this study also prescribed alternate methods to extract necessary hydraulic properties if the DEM quality was compromised. NED-based hydrodynamic modeling resulted in a high overestimation of the simulated flood stage, but the SRTM-based model was unable to produce any reasonable result prior to DEM correction. Nevertheless, after DEM correction, both models became stable and produced less error. Error in simulated flood consequence (i.e., total structures affected and total loss in dollars) also dropped accordingly, following the DEM correction. Therefore, application of this conveyance-based correction technique is reasonably effective on both moderate-resolution regional and global DEMs. The effectiveness of the technique on moderate resolution global DEM underscores the potential for users of remote and data-poor areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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Open AccessArticle
Flood Risk Assessment in Urban Areas Based on Spatial Analytics and Social Factors
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040123
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (11567 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Flood maps alone are not sufficient to determine and assess the risks to people, property, infrastructure, and services due to a flood event. Simply put, the risk is almost zero to minimum if the flooded region is “empty” (i.e., unpopulated, has not properties, [...] Read more.
Flood maps alone are not sufficient to determine and assess the risks to people, property, infrastructure, and services due to a flood event. Simply put, the risk is almost zero to minimum if the flooded region is “empty” (i.e., unpopulated, has not properties, no industry, no infrastructure, and no socio-economic activity). High spatial resolution Earth Observation (EO) data can contribute to the generation and updating of flood risk maps based on several aspects including population, economic development, and critical infrastructure, which can enhance a city’s flood mitigation and preparedness planning. In this case study for the Don River watershed, Toronto, the flood risk is determined and flood risk index maps are generated by implementing a methodology for estimating risk based on the geographic coverage of the flood hazard, vulnerability of people, and the exposure of large building structures to flood water. Specifically, the spatial flood risk index maps have been generated through analytical spatial modeling which takes into account the areas in which a flood hazard is expected to occur, the terrain’s morphological characteristics, socio-economic parameters based on demographic data, and the density of large building complexes. Generated flood risk maps are verified through visual inspection with 3D city flood maps. Findings illustrate that areas of higher flood risk coincide with areas of high flood hazard and social and building exposure vulnerability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Risk Analysis and Management of Floods)
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