Effects of variability in probable maximum precipitation patterns on flood losses

Zischg, Andreas Paul; Felder, Guido; Weingartner, Rolf; Quinn, Niall; Coxon, Gemma; Neal, Jeffrey; Freer, Jim; Bates, Paul (2018). Effects of variability in probable maximum precipitation patterns on flood losses. Hydrology and earth system sciences, 22(5), pp. 2759-2773. European Geosciences Union EGU 10.5194/hess-22-2759-2018

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The assessment of the impacts of extreme floods is important for dealing with residual risk, particularly for critical infrastructure management and for insurance purposes. Thus, modelling of the probable maximum flood (PMF) from probable maximum precipitation (PMP) by coupling hydrological and hydraulic models has gained interest in recent years. Herein, we examine whether variability in precipitation patterns exceeds or is below selected uncertainty factors in flood loss estimation and if the flood losses within a river basin are related to the probable maximum discharge at the basin outlet. We developed a model experiment with an ensemble of probable maximum precipitation scenarios created by Monte Carlo simulations. For each rainfall pattern, we computed the flood losses with a model chain and benchmarked the effects of variability in rainfall distribution with other model uncertainties. The results show that flood losses vary considerably within the river basin and depend on the timing and superimposition of the flood peaks from the basin’s sub-catchments. In addition to the flood hazard component, the other components of flood risk, exposure, and vulnerability contribute remarkably to the overall variability. This leads to the conclusion that the estimation of the probable maximum expectable flood losses in a river basin should not be based exclusively on the PMF. Consequently, the basin-specific sensitivities to different precipitation patterns and the spatial organization of the settlements within the river basin need to be considered in the analyses of probable maximum flood losses.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Hydrology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Zischg, Andreas Paul; Felder, Guido and Weingartner, Rolf

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

1027-5606

Publisher:

European Geosciences Union EGU

Projects:

[245] Mobiliar Lab für Naturrisiken Official URL

Language:

English

Submitter:

Hélène Christine Louise Barras

Date Deposited:

09 May 2018 17:12

Last Modified:

09 May 2018 17:12

Publisher DOI:

10.5194/hess-22-2759-2018

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.116456

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/116456

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