Articles | Volume 12, issue 5
Research article
29 May 2012
Research article |  | 29 May 2012

Flood hazards and masonry constructions: a probabilistic framework for damage, risk and resilience at urban scale

A. Mebarki, N. Valencia, J. L. Salagnac, and B. Barroca

Abstract. This paper deals with the failure risk of masonry constructions under the effect of floods. It is developed within a probabilistic framework, with loads and resistances considered as random variables. Two complementary approaches have been investigated for this purpose:

– a global approach based on combined effects of several governing parameters with individual weighted contribution (material quality and geometry, presence and distance between columns, beams, openings, resistance of the soil and its slope. . .),
– and a reliability method using the failure mechanism of masonry walls standing out-plane pressure.

The evolution of the probability of failure of masonry constructions according to the flood water level is analysed.

The analysis of different failure probability scenarios for masonry walls is conducted to calibrate the influence of each "vulnerability governing parameter" in the global approach that is widely used in risk assessment at the urban or regional scale.

The global methodology is implemented in a GIS that provides the spatial distribution of damage risk for different flood scenarios. A real case is considered for the simulations, i.e. Cheffes sur Sarthe (France), for which the observed river discharge, the hydraulic load according to the Digital Terrain Model, and the structural resistance are considered as random variables. The damage probability values provided by both approaches are compared. Discussions are also developed about reduction and mitigation of the flood disaster at various scales (set of structures, city, region) as well as resilience.