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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-155
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 12 Jun 2018

Research article | 12 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

How do changes along the risk chain affect flood risk?

Ayse Duha Metin1, Nguyen Viet Dung1, Kai Schröter1, Björn Guse1,2, Heiko Apel1, Heidi Kreibich1, Sergiy Vorogushyn1, and Bruno Merz1,3 Ayse Duha Metin et al.
  • 1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section Hydrology, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Department of Hydrology and Water Resources Management, Kiel University, Germany
  • 3Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. Flood risk is impacted by a range of physical and socio-economic processes. Hence, the quantification of flood risk ideally considers the complete flood risk chain, from atmospheric processes through catchment and river system processes to damage mechanisms in the affected areas. Although it is generally accepted that a multitude of changes along the risk chain can occur and impact flood risk, there is a lack of knowledge how and to what extent changes in influencing factors propagate through the chain and finally affect flood risk. To fill this gap, we present a comprehensive sensitivity analysis which considers changes in all risk components, i.e. changes in climate, catchment, river system, land use, assets and vulnerability. The application of this framework to the mesoscale Mulde catchment in Germany shows that flood risk can vary dramatically as consequence of plausible change scenarios. It further reveals that components that have not received much attention, such as changes in dike systems or in vulnerability, may outweigh changes in often investigated components, such as climate. Although the specific results are conditional on the case study area and the selected assumptions, they emphasise the need for a broader consideration of potential drivers of change in a comprehensive way. Hence, our approach contributes to a better understanding of how the different risk components influences the overall flood risk.

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Ayse Duha Metin et al.
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Ayse Duha Metin et al.
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Short summary
We present a comprehensive sensitivity analysis considering changes along the complete flood risk chain to understand how changes in different drivers affect flood risk. Results show that changes in dike systems or in vulnerability may outweigh changes in often investigated components, such as climate change. Although the specific results are conditional on the case study and assumptions, they highlight the need for a broader consideration of potential drivers of change in a comprehensive way.
We present a comprehensive sensitivity analysis considering changes along the complete flood...
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