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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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  16 Apr 2020

16 Apr 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Direct flood risk assessment of the European road network: an object-based approach

Kees C. H. van Ginkel1,2, Francesco Dottori3, Lorenzo Alfieri3, Luc Feyen3, and Elco E. Koks2,4 Kees C. H. van Ginkel et al.
  • 1Deltares, Boussinesqweg 1, 2629 HV Delft, The Netherlands
  • 2Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 3European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy
  • 4Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom

Abstract. River floods pose a significant threat to road transport infrastructure in Europe. This study presents a high-resolution object-based continental-scale assessment of direct flood risk of the European road network for the present climate, using high-resolution exposure data from OpenStreetMap. A new set of road-specific damage functions is developed and validated for an observed flood event. We estimate the median annual expected direct damage from river floods to road infrastructure in Europe at 250 million euro per year. A comparison with grid-based approaches suggests that these methods likely overestimate direct flood damage to road infrastructure and might allocate infrastructural damage to the wrong land use classes. A first validation shows that our object-based method computes realistic damage estimates, paving the way for targeted risk adaptation strategies.

Kees C. H. van Ginkel et al.

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Kees C. H. van Ginkel et al.

Kees C. H. van Ginkel et al.


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