Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Enhanced efficiency of pluvial flood risk estimation in urban areas using spatial-temporal rainfall simulations

Lookup NU author(s): Janice Blanc, Professor Jim Hall, Dr Nicolas Roche, Professor Richard DawsonORCiD, John Richmond, Professor Chris Kilsby


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Urban areas are concentrations of flood risk because of the density of development and because they tend to be constructed in low-lying areas. They may be subject to flooding from rivers or the sea but are also vulnerable to the effects of intense direct rainfall, which can overwhelm urban drainage systems, and cause complex and often localised patterns of pluvial flooding. The risk from pluvial flooding is particularly difficult to assess because it is sensitive to the spatialtemporal characteristics of rainfall, local run-off and surface flow processes, the performance of urban drainage systems, and the exact location of buildings. Sampling the variability or uncertainty in all of these processes in order to generate accurate flood risk estimates quickly becomes computationally prohibitive, especially for large urban areas. In this paper, we evaluate alternative approaches for making use of high-resolution spatialtemporal rainfall simulations in urban flood risk analysis. Flood depths are computed with a coupled sewer and surface flood model, and flood damage is estimated using standard depth-damage criteria. Efficient sampling of rainfall events and judicious use of response surfaces that relate rainfall event properties to flood volumes and damages are evaluated and shown to reduce the computational expense of risk analysis by more than 70%. The risk analysis methodology is successfully demonstrated for two contrasting urban locations in the UK.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Blanc J, Hall JW, Roche N, Dawson RJ, Cesses Y, Burton A, Kilsby CG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Flood Risk Management

Year: 2012

Volume: 5

Issue: 2

Pages: 143-152

Print publication date: 08/03/2012

ISSN (electronic): 1753-318X

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-318X.2012.01135.x


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
UK Department of Trade and Industry
EP/H003630/1UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council