Flood risk (d)evolution: Disentangling key drivers of flood risk change with a retro-model experiment

Zischg, Andreas Paul; Hofer, Patrick; Mosimann, Markus; Röthlisberger, Veronika; Ramirez, Jorge Alberto; Keiler, Margreth; Weingartner, Rolf (2018). Flood risk (d)evolution: Disentangling key drivers of flood risk change with a retro-model experiment. Science of the total environment, 639, pp. 195-207. Elsevier 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.056

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Flood risks are dynamically changing over time. Over decades and centuries, the main drivers for flood risk change are influenced either by perturbations or slow alterations in the natural environment or, more importantly, by socio-economic development and human interventions. However, changes in the natural and human environment are intertwined. Thus, the analysis of the main drivers for flood risk changes requires a disentangling of the individual risk components. Here, we present a method for isolating the individual effects of selected drivers of change and selected flood risk management options based on a model experiment. In contrast to purely synthetic model experiments, we built our analyses upon a retro-model consisting of several spatio-temporal stages of river morphology and settlement structure. The main advantage of this approach is that the overall long-term dynamics are known and do not have to be assumed. We used this model setup to analyse the temporal evolution of the flood risk, for an ex-post evaluation of the key drivers of change, and for analysing possible alternative pathways for flood risk evolution under different governance settings. We showed that in the study region the construction of lateral levees and the consecutive river incision are the main drivers for decreasing flood risks over the last century. A rebound effect in flood risk can be observed following an increase in settlements since the 1960s. This effect is not as relevant as the river engineering measures, but it will become increasingly relevant in the future with continued socio-economic growth. The presented approach could provide a methodological framework for studying pathways for future flood risk evolvement and for the formulation of narratives for adapting governmental flood risk strategies to the spatio-temporal dynamics in the built environment.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Zischg, Andreas Paul; Hofer, Patrick; Mosimann, Markus; Röthlisberger, Veronika; Ramirez, Jorge Alberto; Keiler, Margreth and Weingartner, Rolf

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

0048-9697

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Hélène Christine Louise Barras

Date Deposited:

29 May 2018 14:57

Last Modified:

29 May 2018 14:57

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.056

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Model Experiment, Flood risk Change, Spatio-temporal dynamics of flood risk, Floodplain, Settlement development, River engineering

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.116859

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/116859

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