EU Floods Directive
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Potential Support for the preparation of Flood Risk Maps


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Hydrodynamic modelling of the inlet of a flood polderThere are many mapping technologies available – from advanced topographic survey such as LiDAR to commercial GIS to overlay flood outlines with socio-economic data.  The Exchange Circle EXCIMAP (established from the EU Action Programme Stakeholder Group) is preparing current practice guidance on flood risk mapping.  FLOODsite partners are working with the ECIMAP group.   FLOODsite is not undertaking research on the development of GIS but is making use of this as a commercially available technology.

Flood risk mapping will require both the hazard and the consequences of flooding to be assessed and FLOODsite is contributing knowledge relevant to these activities.   It is this greater clarity of approach to risk assessment and for some specific physical processes that FLOODsite will make its main contribution to the scientific basis of the flood risk maps.  The contributions to knowledge will be developed and tested in the context of our pilot sites in Theme 4.

The Cévennes Vivarais pilot areaTask 1 has researched the hydro meteorological processes that govern flash flooding, in particular, the stationarity of storms and the hydrological behaviour of small mountainous catchments.  Although the flash flood work in FLOODsite is directed at improved forecasting this understanding may also improve flood estimation for mapping the hazard in small mountainous catchments.

The outputs of Task 2 provide up-to-date statistical tools for assessing the probability of extreme events.

Task 3 is developing and testing a general procedure for building a European Flood Hazard Atlas (as opposed to risk maps) based upon the FLOODsite methodology; the testing will be mainly for coastal areas.

Map of the River Tisza Basin Pilot Site Area The project is developing a deeper understanding of the elements of risk and this will be available to support the flood risk mapping process.  The understanding of reliability of defences from Task 4, Task 6 and Task 7 will enable a fuller assessment of risk to be prepared through factoring the likelihood of defence failures into the assessment of risk.

In Task 8, models for flood inundation are being benchmarked, and this will lead to guidance on the suitability of hydrodynamic modelling approaches for hazard and risk mapping.

The work in Task 9 and Task 10 will be of direct relevance to flood risk mapping since this work supports the evaluation of the consequences of flooding.  In particular, the risk mapping may use the flood damage estimation guidelines developed in Task 9 and the estimation of loss-of-life model and the GIS-based multi-criteria evaluation of risk developed in Task 10.

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