The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Water-level attenuation in global-scale assessments of exposure to coastal flooding: a sensitivity analysis

Water-level attenuation in global-scale assessments of exposure to coastal flooding: a sensitivity analysis
Water-level attenuation in global-scale assessments of exposure to coastal flooding: a sensitivity analysis
This study explores the uncertainty introduced in global assessments of coastal flood exposure and risk when not accounting for water level attenuation due to land-surface characteristics. We implement a range of plausible water-level attenuation values for characteristic land-cover classes in the flood module of the Dynamic and Integrated Vulnerability Assessment (DIVA) modelling framework and assess the sensitivity of flood exposure and flood risk indicators to differences in attenuation rates. Results show a reduction of up to 44% in area exposure and even larger reductions in population exposure and expected flood damages when considering water level attenuation. The reductions vary by country, reflecting the differences in the physical characteristics of the floodplain as well as in the spatial distribution of people and assets in coastal regions. We find that uncertainties related to not accounting for water attenuation in global assessments of flood risk are of similar magnitude to the uncertainties related to the amount of SLR expected over the 21st century. Despite using simplified assumptions to account for the process of water level attenuation, which depends on numerous factors and their complex interactions, our results strongly suggest that an improved understanding and representation of the temporal and spatial variation of water levels across floodplains is essential for future impact modelling.
1684-9981
973-984
Vafeidis, Athanasios T.
2f593aa2-f291-424d-bf56-f71dff5757f4
Schuerch, Mark
e48f9889-d371-486e-af83-fa5037cc3d2d
Wolff, Claudia
a57455fd-eb31-4781-9538-58ac98f1169a
Spencer, Tom
02477a25-a56d-4619-8ef8-bf367fae92cd
Merkens, Jan-Ludolf
4a431698-ef82-4252-b0de-28aea9197469
Hinkel, Jochen
757916c3-aa74-4fbf-b96d-ce86eeff03e3
Lincke, Daniel
de666ddf-b97f-4f22-bec4-6490e42c0623
Brown, Sally
49019923-02ad-49c8-969d-0b9acd87607a
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Vafeidis, Athanasios T.
2f593aa2-f291-424d-bf56-f71dff5757f4
Schuerch, Mark
e48f9889-d371-486e-af83-fa5037cc3d2d
Wolff, Claudia
a57455fd-eb31-4781-9538-58ac98f1169a
Spencer, Tom
02477a25-a56d-4619-8ef8-bf367fae92cd
Merkens, Jan-Ludolf
4a431698-ef82-4252-b0de-28aea9197469
Hinkel, Jochen
757916c3-aa74-4fbf-b96d-ce86eeff03e3
Lincke, Daniel
de666ddf-b97f-4f22-bec4-6490e42c0623
Brown, Sally
49019923-02ad-49c8-969d-0b9acd87607a
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076

Vafeidis, Athanasios T., Schuerch, Mark, Wolff, Claudia, Spencer, Tom, Merkens, Jan-Ludolf, Hinkel, Jochen, Lincke, Daniel, Brown, Sally and Nicholls, Robert (2019) Water-level attenuation in global-scale assessments of exposure to coastal flooding: a sensitivity analysis. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 19 (5), 973-984. (doi:10.5194/nhess-19-973-2019).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This study explores the uncertainty introduced in global assessments of coastal flood exposure and risk when not accounting for water level attenuation due to land-surface characteristics. We implement a range of plausible water-level attenuation values for characteristic land-cover classes in the flood module of the Dynamic and Integrated Vulnerability Assessment (DIVA) modelling framework and assess the sensitivity of flood exposure and flood risk indicators to differences in attenuation rates. Results show a reduction of up to 44% in area exposure and even larger reductions in population exposure and expected flood damages when considering water level attenuation. The reductions vary by country, reflecting the differences in the physical characteristics of the floodplain as well as in the spatial distribution of people and assets in coastal regions. We find that uncertainties related to not accounting for water attenuation in global assessments of flood risk are of similar magnitude to the uncertainties related to the amount of SLR expected over the 21st century. Despite using simplified assumptions to account for the process of water level attenuation, which depends on numerous factors and their complex interactions, our results strongly suggest that an improved understanding and representation of the temporal and spatial variation of water levels across floodplains is essential for future impact modelling.

Text
Vafeidis et al_NHESS_SI_Final - Accepted Manuscript
Download (1MB)
Text
nhess-19-973-2019 - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (3MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 11 April 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 May 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430918
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430918
ISSN: 1684-9981
PURE UUID: 92dcc4a3-1587-43d3-bf7f-2411416392db
ORCID for Robert Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 17 Sep 2019 00:52

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×