Articles | Volume 6, issue 4
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 6, 485–503, 2006

Special issue: Methods for risk assessment and mapping in Germany

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 6, 485–503, 2006

  12 Jun 2006

12 Jun 2006

Flood-risk mapping: contributions towards an enhanced assessment of extreme events and associated risks

B. Büchele1,3, H. Kreibich2, A. Kron1,3, A. Thieken2, J. Ihringer1, P. Oberle1, B. Merz2, and F. Nestmann1 B. Büchele et al.
  • 1Institute for Water and River Basin Management, Technical University of Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Section Engineering Hydrology, Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM), Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. Currently, a shift from classical flood protection as engineering task towards integrated flood risk management concepts can be observed. In this context, a more consequent consideration of extreme events which exceed the design event of flood protection structures and failure scenarios such as dike breaches have to be investigated. Therefore, this study aims to enhance existing methods for hazard and risk assessment for extreme events and is divided into three parts. In the first part, a regionalization approach for flood peak discharges was further developed and substantiated, especially regarding recurrence intervals of 200 to 10 000 years and a large number of small ungauged catchments. Model comparisons show that more confidence in such flood estimates for ungauged areas and very long recurrence intervals may be given as implied by statistical analysis alone. The hydraulic simulation in the second part is oriented towards hazard mapping and risk analyses covering the whole spectrum of relevant flood events. As the hydrodynamic simulation is directly coupled with a GIS, the results can be easily processed as local inundation depths for spatial risk analyses. For this, a new GIS-based software tool was developed, being presented in the third part, which enables estimations of the direct flood damage to single buildings or areas based on different established stage-damage functions. Furthermore, a new multifactorial approach for damage estimation is presented, aiming at the improvement of damage estimation on local scale by considering factors like building quality, contamination and precautionary measures. The methods and results from this study form the base for comprehensive risk analyses and flood management strategies.