18 Oct 2021
18 Oct 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Developing a framework for the assessment of current and future flood risk in Venice, Italy

Julius Schlumberger1, Christian Ferrarin2, Sebastiaan N. Jonkman1, Andres Diaz Loaiza1, Alessandro Antonini1, and Sandra Fatorić3 Julius Schlumberger et al.
  • 1Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands
  • 2CNR - National Research Council of Italy, ISMAR - Marine Sciences Institute, Castello 2737/F, 30122, Venezia, Italy
  • 3Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands

Abstract. Flooding has been a serious struggle to the old-town of Venice, its residents and cultural heritage and continues to be a challenge in the future. Despite this existence-defining condition, limited scientific knowledge of flood hazard and flood damage modelling of the old-town of Venice is available to support decisions to mitigate existing and future flood risk. Therefore, this study proposes a risk assessment framework to provide a methodical and flexible instrument for decision-making for flood risk management in Venice. It uses a state-of-the-art hydrodynamic urban model to identify the hazard characteristics inside the city of Venice. Exposure, vulnerability, and corresponding damages are modelled by a multi-parametric, micro-scale damage model which is adapted to the specific context of Venice with its dense urban structure and high risk awareness. A set of individual protection scenarios is implemented to account for possible variability of flood preparedness of the residents. The developed risk assessment framework was tested for the flood event of 12 November 2019. It was able to reproduce flood characteristics and resulting damages well. A scenario analysis based on a meteorological event like 12 November 2019 was conducted to derive flood damage estimates for the year 2060 for a set of sea level rise scenarios in combination with a (partially) functioning storm surge barrier MOSE. The analysis suggests that a functioning MOSE barrier could prevent flood damages for the considered storm event and sea level scenarios almost entirely. It could reduce the damages by up to 34 % for optimistic sea level rise prognoses. However, damages could be 10 % to 600 % times higher in 2060 compared to 2019 for a partial closure of the storm surge barrier, depending on different levels of individual protection.

Julius Schlumberger et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-272', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Nov 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Julius Schlumberger, 26 Jan 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-272', Anonymous Referee #2, 17 Jan 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Julius Schlumberger, 26 Jan 2022

Julius Schlumberger et al.

Data sets

used data, intermediate resuls, model runs & scripts Julius Schlumberger!AujDMT3F11JwgpEoTj2zfvrJqDcOdA?e=dY2c6O

Julius Schlumberger et al.


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Short summary
Flooding has been a serious struggle to the old-town of Venice, its residents and cultural heritage and continues to be a challenge in the future. To support decisions to improve protection against future floods under consideration of the recently built MOSE barrier in light of rising sea levels, a model framework has been developed. This study highlights the influence of individual protection measures on the flood damages in case the MOSE storm surge barrier does not operate as anticipated.