Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-303
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Review article
31 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
Review Article: Validation of flood risk models: current practice and innovations
Daniela Molinari1, Karin De Bruijn2, Jessica Castillo3, Giuseppe T. Aronica4, and Laurens M. Bouwer2 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, 20133, Italy
2Deltares, Delft, 2629-HD, The Netherlands
3Research Institute on Water and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, 46022, Spain
4Department of Engineering, University of Messina, Messina, 98166, Italy
Abstract. Although often neglected, model validation is a key topic in flood risk analysis, as flood risk estimates are characterised by significant levels of uncertainty. In this paper, we discuss the state of art of flood risk models validation, as concluded from the discussion among more than 50 experts at two main scientific events. The events aimed at identifying policy and research recommendations towards promoting more common practice of validation, and an improvement of flood risk models reliability. We pay specific attention to the different components of the risk modelling chain (i.e. flood hazard, defence failure and flood damage analysis) as well as to their role into risk estimates, to highlight specificities and commonalities with respect to implemented techniques and research needs. The main conclusions from this review can be summarised as the need of higher quality data to perform validation and of benchmark solutions to be followed in different contexts, along with a greater involvement of end-users in the debate on flood risk models validation.

Citation: Molinari, D., De Bruijn, K., Castillo, J., Aronica, G. T., and Bouwer, L. M.: Review Article: Validation of flood risk models: current practice and innovations, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-303, in review, 2017.
Daniela Molinari et al.
Daniela Molinari et al.
Daniela Molinari et al.

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Short summary
Flood risk estimates are characterised by significant uncertainties; accordingly, evaluating the reliability of such estimates (i.e. validating flood risk models) is crucial. Here, we discuss the state of art of flood risk models validation with the aim of identifying policy and research recommendations towards promoting more common practice of validation. The main conclusions from this review can be summarised as the need of higher quality data to perform validation and of benchmark solutions.
Flood risk estimates are characterised by significant uncertainties; accordingly, evaluating the...
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