Sensitivity Assessment of Critical Condition for Local Flash Floods - Evaluating the Recurrence under Climate Change




Austrian Climate Research Programme 7th Call


  • Assoz.-Prof. DI Dr. Stefan Achleitner
    Unit of Hydraulic Engineering, University of Innsbruck (UIBK)


  • Department of Natural Hazards and Alpine Timberline, Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW) 

  • University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Institute of Meteorology (BOKU-Met)
  • hydro & meteo GmbH & Co. KG


  • Assoz.-Prof. DI Dr. Stefan Achleitner (Project Coordinator, UIBK)
  • DI Simon Lumassegger (UIBK)
  • Mag. Dr. Bernhard Kohl (BFW)
  • Ass. Prof. Dr. Herbert Formayer (BOKU-Met)
  • Dr. Thomas Einfalt (hydro & meteo)
  • Dipl.-Met. Alexander Strehz (hydro & meteo)

Project duration

    3 years, 03/2015 - 02/2018


Project Description

The general paradigm shift from hazard to risk and an increasing number of damaging flood events, especially within the last two decades, result in a strengthened commitment of the scientific community, engineers and policy-maker in the analysis, assessment, and management of flood risk. While hazard and risk analysis in the field of river flooding is widely established and standardized, appropriate methods for overland flow leading to flash floods in settled areas are still subject to research. Flash floods are characterized by short, local convective cells with high precipitation intensities. The figures on flood damage in recent years have shown that river flooding on the one hand and flash floods triggered by local heavy rainfall events on the other hand are causing equally high average annual total loss. Nevertheless there is a lack of public awareness in relation to the hazardous potential of flash floods due to their limited local impact. In the future more frequent storms as a result of global warming are expected. For this reason, the research project SAFFER-CC was initiated to analyze the impacts of climate change on the occurrence of flash floods in Upper Austria. 

In the research project SAFFER-CC existing modeling concepts are  adapted to the specific needs of overland flow simulation. The aim is to take advantage of hydrological and hydraulic modeling concepts. This is realized within a 2D hydraulic surface runoff model which can reproduce the behavior of a hydrological model. Therefor a 2D-hydraulic model has been enhanced to define loss-model and rain hydrograph at each mesh node. As loss models simplified event-based methods as the SCS-CN method are currently being applied. The simulation mesh is based on existing land use maps and the applied 2D hydraulic software is made to use flow depth dependent roughness coefficients. In the course of the research project irrigation experiments are conducted  to investigate the impact of meteorological pre-conditions on the flow  pattern of the soil.


Nach oben scrollen