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A methodology for national-scale flood risk assessment

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jim Hall, Professor Richard Dawson


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Risk analysis provides a rational basis for flood management decision-making at a national scale, as well as regionally and locally. National-scale flood risk assessment can provide consistent information to support the development of flood management policy, allocation of resources and monitoring the performance of flood mitigation activities. However, national-scale risk assessment presents particular challenges in terms of data acquisition and manipulation, numerical computation and presentation of results. A methodology that addresses these difficulties through appropriate approximations has been developed and applied in England and Wales. The methodology represents the processes of fluvial and coastal flooding over linear flood defence systems in sufficient detail to test alternative policy options for investment in flood management. Flood outlines and depths are generated, in the absence of a consistent national topographic and water level data set, using a rapid parametric inundation routine. Potential economic and social impacts of flooding are assessed using national databases of floodplain properties and demography. A case study of the river Parrett catchment and adjoining sea defences in Bridgwater Bay in England demonstrates the application of the method and presentation of results in a Geographical Information System.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hall JW, Dawson RJ, Sayers P, Rosu C, Chatterton J, Deakin R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Water & Maritime Engineering

Year: 2003

Volume: 156

Issue: 3

Pages: 235-247

ISSN (print): 1472-4561

ISSN (electronic): 1751-7729

Publisher: Thomas Telford Ltd.


DOI: 10.1680/maen.

Notes: This paper won the ICE's Robert Alfred Carr prize in 2004


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