Flood risk assessments at different spatial scales

De Moel, H., Jongman, B., Kreibich, H., Merz, B., Penning-Rowsell, Edmund C. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5333-8641 and Ward, P. J. (2015) Flood risk assessments at different spatial scales. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change . ISSN 1381-2386 [Article] (doi:10.1007/s11027-015-9654-z)


Managing flood risk, i.e. both the hazard and the potential consequences, is an important aspect of adapting to global change and has gained much traction in recent decades. As a result, a priori flood risk assessments have become an important part of flood management practices. Many methodologies have been set up, ranging from global risk assessments for the world as a whole, to local assessments for a particular stretch of a river/coast or small town. Most assessment frameworks generally follow a similar approach, but there are also notable differences between assessments at different spatial scales. This review article examines these differences, for instance those related to the methodology, use of assessments and uncertainties. From this review, future research needs are identified in order to improve flood risk assessments at different scales. At global/continental scale, there is a clear need for harmonised information on flood defences to improve assessments. Furthermore, inclusions of indirect economic effects at the macro-/meso-scale would give a better indication of the total effects of catastrophic flooding. At the meso-/micro-scale, there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the effects of flooding on critical infrastructures, given their importance to society, the economy, emergency management and reconstruction. An overarching theme at all scales is the validation of flood risk assessments, which is often limited. More detailed post-disaster information would allow for improved calibration, validation and thus performance of flood risk models. Lastly, the link between spatial scales also deserves attention, for instance up- or downscaling methodologies.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Flood Hazard Research Centre
Item ID: 16408
Depositing User: Josie Joyce
Date Deposited: 28 May 2015 11:34
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:34
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/16408

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