FREE - Round 1 - Uncertainty Assessments of Flood Inundation Impacts: Using spatial climate change scenarios to drive ensembles of distributed models for extremes Project

* Introduction

Exploratory climate change studies for the UK indicate that an increase in the frequency of extreme events and associated flood risk is likely. Given that floods cause damage of over £1bn per year under present climatic conditions, climate change bears significant consequences for flood risk management. In order to evaluate these consequences, hydrological and flood inundation models are forced with projections of precipitation from atmospheric models for a range of Greenhouse gas emission scenarios to produce future flood predictions. However the validity and uncertainty of these model-based input precipitation fields are of key concern, as they potentially constitute a major source of ambiguity for hydrological and hydraulic modelling. Additionally, uncertainty is associated with the hydrological and inundation models themselves, such as for example the models ability to represent the dominating physical processes and to uniquely identify effective model factors (parameters and any other model variables) that will shape future forecasts. As the non-linear interaction of all model components will influence the total uncertainty associated with hydrological impact assessments these need to be comprehensively assessed. Therefore, a key and exciting challenge is to describe and quantify the origin and propagation of uncertainty from climate to hydrological to flood inundation models.

This project aims to develop a novel holistic modelling approach for doing this. The region of focus will be the River Severn catchment because of concerns about current and future flood risk. Specifically Project Investigators will:

This project will deliver an insightful scientific methodology which can be used in future research assessments and catapult UK science to the forefront of an exciting, socially, and politically important international research area.

Project Duration: December 2006 - September 2010.

This project is funded by NERC - Grant Ref. NE/E002242/1 - through the Flood Risk for Etreme Events (FREE) NERC directed mode programme.

* Availability of data

This project will create a framework to cascade climate models into hydrological and then into flood inundation models, and then assess the origin and propagation of uncertainty through this system. This study will be based on the region of the River Severn basin. In establishing this framework it is intended that observational data sets, namely rainfall and river flow data for the Severn basin will be used. If these are collected specifically by the project team (and not e.g. by the Environment agency) then they should be archived at the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).
In addition, notable output datasets generated by the climate and hydrological model runs may be archived, particularly if they are used in publications.

The data from this project will be stored at the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH). A copy of the metadata will be stored at the BADC.

* Access to data and information

Data and metadata from this project will be stored at CEH.

A copy of the metadata will be stored in the BADC FREE Uncertainty Assessments of Flood Inundation Impacts project archive.

Access to FREE data held at the BADC will be restricted to the FREE participants during a restricted access period ending two years after the end date of each project. Data will be made publicly accessible after that date.

If you are a FREE participant and wish to access restricted FREE data, please

* Instructions for data providers

FREE participants wishing to submit data should read the submission instructions. If you have publications arising from FREE research please send details [title, author(s), reference] to the BADC help desk for inclusion in the archive.

* Links

* Who to contact

This FREE project is headed by Prof Glenn McGregor of King's College London, with co-investigators at King's College London, University of Bristol, Lancaster University, University of Exeter.

The project data contact is Dr Hannah Cloke, King's College London.

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