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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-32
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-32
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 12 Mar 2019

Research article | 12 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Enhancement of large-scale flood damage assessments using building-material-based vulnerability curves for an object-based approach

Johanna Englhardt1, Hans de Moel1, Charles K. Huyck2, Marleen C. de Ruiter1, Jeroen C. J. H. Aerts1, and Philip J. Ward1 Johanna Englhardt et al.
  • 1Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2ImageCat Inc., Long Beach, CA 90802, USA

Abstract. In this study, we developed an enhanced approach for large-scale flood damage and risk assessments that uses characteristics of buildings and the built environment as object-based information to represent exposure and vulnerability to flooding. Most current large-scale assessments use an aggregated land-use category to represent the exposure, treating all exposed elements the same. For large areas where previously only coarse information existed such as in Africa, more detailed exposure data is becoming available. For our approach, a direct relation between the construction type and building material of the exposed elements is used to develop vulnerability curves. We further present a method to differentiate flood risk in urban and rural areas based on characteristics of the built environment. We applied the model to Ethiopia, and found that rural flood risk accounts for about 22 % of simulated damages; rural damages are generally neglected in the typical land-use-based damage models particularly at this scale. Our approach is particularly interesting for studies in areas where there is a large variation in construction types in the building stock, such as developing countries. It also enables comparison across different natural hazard types that also use material-based vulnerability, paving the way to the enhancement of multi-risk assessments.

Johanna Englhardt et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Johanna Englhardt et al.
Johanna Englhardt et al.
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Short summary
Large-scale risk assessments can be improved by a more direct relation between the type of exposed building and the impact of floods. Compared to the common land-use-based approach, our model reflects heterogeneous structures and defines building-material-based vulnerability classes. The approach is particularly interesting for areas with large variations of building types, such as in developing countries and over large-scales, and how it can be used to distinguish risk in urban and rural areas.
Large-scale risk assessments can be improved by a more direct relation between the type of...
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