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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 16 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

A risk-based, network analysis of distributed in-stream leaky barriers for flood risk management

Barry Hankin1,2, Ian Hewitt3, Graham Sander4, Federico Danieli3, Giuseppe Formetta5, Alissa Kamilova3, Ann Kretzschmar2, Kris Kiradjiev3, Clint Wong3, Sam Pegler6, and Rob Lamb7,1 Barry Hankin et al.
  • 1Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • 2JBA Consulting, Skipton, UK
  • 3Mathematical Institute, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
  • 4School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, UK
  • 5Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Italy
  • 6School of Mathematics, University of Leeds, UK
  • 7Director, JBA Trust, Skipton, UK

Abstract. We develop a network-based model of a catchment basin that incorporates the possibility of small-scale, in-channel, leaky barriers as flood attenuation features, on each of the edges of the network. The model can be used to understand effective risk reduction strategies considering the whole-system performance; here we focus on identifying network dam placements promoting effective dynamic utilisation of storage, and placements that also reduce risk of breach or cascade failure of dams during high flows. We first demonstrate the model using idealised networks and explore risk of cascade failure using probabilistic barrier-fragility assumptions. The investigation highlights the need for robust design of nature-based measures, to avoid inadvertent exposure of communities to a flood risk, and we conclude that the principle of building the leaky-barriers on the upstream tributaries is generally less risky than building on the main trunk, although this may depend on the network structure specific to the catchment under study. The efficient scheme permits rapid assessment of performance of dams placed in different locations in real networks, demonstrated in application to a real system of leaky barriers built in Penny Gill, a stream in the West Cumbria region of Britain and which leads to further design advice.

Barry Hankin et al.

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Barry Hankin et al.

Barry Hankin et al.


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Latest update: 05 Jul 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
With growing support for nature-based-solutions to reduce flooding by local communities, government authorities and international organisations, it is still important to improve how we assess risk reduction. We demonstrate an efficient, simplified 1d network model that allows us to explore the whole-system response of numerous leaky-barriers placed in different stream networks, whilst considering utilisation, synchronisation effects, and cascade failure, and we provide advice on their siting.
With growing support for nature-based-solutions to reduce flooding by local communities,...