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Numerical hydraulic modelling and flood risk assessment and mitigation

Keywords: 1D and 2D numerical hydraulic models, flood-risk assessment, mitigation and mapping, residual risk
Fig. 1. Example of 2D model application for the evaluation of flood hazard indicator (Authors: A. Brath, A. Castellarin, A. Domeneghetti).
Fig. 2. Probabilistic flood hazard map along the River Po in cases of levee failures (Author: A. Domeneghetti).

Modern techniques for topographical survey (see e.g., LiDAR, laser-scanning) enable numerical descriptions of the morphology of riverbanks and floodplain with high planimetric resolution. These techniques triggered research activities related to the application of onedimensional (1D), quasi two-dimensional (quasi- 2D) and fully two-dimensional (2D) hydraulic models. Ongoing research activities make use of these high resolution digital elevation models to reproduce the complexity of the river bed, protected and not-protected floodplains and flood prone areas. Taking advantage of these sources 1D, quasi-2D and 2D hydraulic models are implemented with different discretizations and mesh resolutions for flood risk analysis a different spatial scale (from large- to micro-scale).

The main objective is to achieve, by means of mathematical simulations, some points of discussions for listed fields of research:

  • flood hazard mitigation strategies associated with different floodplain management policies (i.e. open floodplain, dike-protected floodplains or controlled flooding);
  • evaluation of flood hazard and vulnerability indicator (i.e. water depth, stage-damage curve) for flood risk mapping, even in cases of levee failure scenarios;
  • definition of strategies for an effective management of extreme flood events (e.g. recurrence intervals >> 200 years), such as controlled flooding of areas outside the main embankments.

Research activities are carried out in collaboration with Italian and foreign partners (e.g. Po River Basin Authority; Interregional Agency for the Po River; Civil Protection Agency; University of Bristol-School of Geography; UNESCOIHE, GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, Germany) and in the context of the SYSTEM-RISK Project (Marie-Skłodowska-Curie ETN), which aims on developing and implementing a systems approach for large-scale flood risk assessment and management and provides a framework for training 15 Early Stage Researchers.

Main publications

Brath, A., Castellarin A., Di Baldassarre G., Domeneghetti A. (2010). Linee strategiche di intervento per la mitigazione del rischio alluvionale lungo il corso medio-inferiore del Fiume Po. L’Acqua, 2, pp. 9-24, ISSN 1125-1255.

Castellarin A., Brath A., Di Baldassarre G. (2008). Analisi della capacità di laminazione del sistema golenale del corso medio inferiore del Fiume Po. 31° Convegno di Idraulica e Costruzioni Idrauliche. Perugia, 9-12 settembre 2008. (pp. 350-1 - 350-11). ISBN: 978-88-6074-220-9.

Castellarin A., Di Baldassarre G., Bates P.D., Brath A. (2008). Optimal geometric description in one-dimensional hydraulic models. In New Topics in Water Resources Research and Management. (pp. 235 - 259). ISBN: 1-60021-974-8. Hauppauge NY: Novapublisher (United States).

Castellarin A., Di Baldassarre G., Brath A. (2010). Floodplain management strategies for flood attenuation in the River Po, River Research and Application , doi: 10.1002/rra.1405.

Castellarin, A., G. Di Baldassarre, Bates P.D., Brath A. (2009). Optimal cross-section spacing in Preissmann scheme 1D hydrodynamic models, J. Hydraul. Eng., ASCE, 135(2), 96-105.

Castellarin A., A. Domeneghetti, A. Brath (2011). Identifying robust large-scale flood risk mitigation strategies: a quasi-2d hydraulic model as a tool for the po river. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Volume 36, Issues 7-8, pp. 299-308, 2011.

Di Baldassarre, G., Castellarin A., Brath A. (2009). Analysis on the effects of levee heightening on flood propagation: some thoughts on the River Po, Italy. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 54(6), 1007-1017.

Di Baldassarre, G., Castellarin A., Montanari A., Brath A. (2009). Probability weighted hazard maps for comparing different flood risk management strategies. A case study, DOI: 10.1007/s11069-009-9355-6, Natural Hazards, 50:479–496.

Di Baldassarre, G., Montanari A. (2009). Uncertainty in river discharge observations: a quantitative analysis, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 13, 913–921.

Domeneghetti, A. (2016). On the use of SRTM and altimetry data for flood modeling in datasparse regions, Water Resources Research, 52, 2901–2918, doi:10.1002/2015WR017967.

Domeneghetti, A., Carisi, F., Castellarin, A., Brath, A. (2015). Evolution of flood risk over large areas: quantitative assessment for the Po River. Journal of Hydrology 527, 809–823; doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.05.043

Domeneghetti A., Gandolfi, S., Castellarin, A., Brandimarte, L., Di Baldassarre, G., Barbarella, M., Brath, A. (2015) Flood risk mitigation in developing countries: deriving accurate topographic data for remote areas under severe time and economic constraints. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 8, pp. 301-3014, doi:10.1111/jfr3.12095

Domeneghetti A., Vorogushyn S., Castellarin A., Merz B., Brath A. (2013). Probabilistic floodhazard mapping: effects of uncertain boundary conditions. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 3127– 3140;

Domeneghetti A., Castellarin A., Brath A. (2012). Assessing rating-curve uncertainty and its effects on hydraulic model calibration, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 16(4), 1191–1202, doi:10.5194/hess- 16-1191-2012.

Research projects

Research and Study Agreements: strategic project for flood-risk mitigation along the middle lower reach of the Po River. Po River Basin Authority

Scientific activity associated to the donation of the Interregional Agency for the Po River

SYSTEM-RISK: Marie-Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network