11 Jun 2024
 | 11 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Tangible and intangible ex-post assessment of flood-induced damages to cultural heritage

Claudia De Lucia, Michele Amaddii, and Chiara Arrighi

Abstract. Floods pose significant risks to cultural heritage (CH), yet post-disaster damage data to CH remain lacking. In this paper, we address this gap by focusing on the ex-post assessment of flood-induced damage to CH. The method involves the identification of damaged assets, and a field survey to assess tangible (LTV) and intangible (LIV) damage. The potential contributing factors e.g., water depth and river slope, are analyzed through geospatial analysis. Ex-post damage data to CH are compared with the outcome of an ex-ante analysis based on available methods to verify the quality of exposure data and possible limitations. The method is applied to the 15–16 September 2022 flood event that occurred in the Marche Region (Italy). The survey involved 14 CH in 4 municipalities and 3 catchments. Results highlight the inadequacy of existing exposure data for ex-ante damage assessment. However, ex-post data confirm that religious architectures are likely to suffer the highest LTV and LIV. The ex-post damage analysis provided a semi-quantitative 15 evaluation of both LTV and LIV in relation to flood characteristics. Notably, significant correlations between LTV and flood depth, as well as with the slope of the riverbed (a proxy for river flow velocity), were found. LIV correlates well to flood depth and river slope although with lower R2 and larger RMSE, highlighting that intangible impact analysis requires more effort than hazard characterization. Further research should increase the availability of ex-post damage data to CH to pose the basis for damage model validation and development of empirical vulnerability functions.

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Claudia De Lucia, Michele Amaddii, and Chiara Arrighi

Status: open (until 23 Jul 2024)

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Claudia De Lucia, Michele Amaddii, and Chiara Arrighi
Claudia De Lucia, Michele Amaddii, and Chiara Arrighi


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Short summary
The work describes the flood damages to cultural heritage (CH) occurred in the event of September 2022 in Central Italy. Datasets related to flood impacts to cultural heritage are rare and this work aims at highlighting both tangible and intangible aspects and their correlation with physical characteristics of the flood, i.e., water depth and flow velocity. The results show that current knowledge and datasets are inadequate for risk assessment of CH.