Evaluating targeted heuristics for vulnerability assessment in flood impact model chains

Zischg, Andreas Paul; Röthlisberger, Veronika; Mosimann, Markus; Profico‐Kaltenrieder, Rahel; Bresch, David; Fuchs, Sven; Kauzlaric, Martina; Keiler, Margreth (2021). Evaluating targeted heuristics for vulnerability assessment in flood impact model chains. Journal of flood risk management, 14(4) Wiley 10.1111/jfr3.12736

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In flood risk management, the choice of vulnerability functions has a remarkable impact on the overall uncertainty of modelling flood damage. The spatial transferability of empirical vulnerability functions is limited, leading to the need for computation and validation of region-specific vulnerability functions. In data-scarce regions however, this option is not feasible. In contrast, the physical processes of flood impact model chains can be developed in these regions because of the availability of global datasets. Here we evaluated the implementation of a synthetic vulnerability function into a flood impact model. The function bases on expert heuristics on a targeted sample of representative buildings (targeted heuristics). We applied the vulnerability function in a meso-scale river basin and evaluated the new function by comparing the resulting flood damage with the damage computed by other approaches, (1) an ensemble of vulnerability functions available from the literature, (2) an individual vulnerability function calibrated with region-specific data, and (3) the vulnerability function used in flood risk management by the Swiss government. The results show that targeted heuristics can be a valuable alternative for developing flood impact models in regions without any data or only few data on flood damage.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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; Röthlisberger, Veronika Eva; Mosimann, Markus; Kauzlaric, Martina Catharina and Keiler, Margreth


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








Mira Maria Schär

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2021 15:53

Last Modified:

14 Nov 2021 01:44

Publisher DOI:






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