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Flood Information System
Cause-And-Effect-Relations of flood events

The increase of the frequencies and dimensions of flood events is often claimed to be caused by human interventions. Namely direct influences on the processes of runoff accumulation and runoff concentration (surface sealing, land use) or processes of wave modification in rivers (reduction of retention areas, embankments, lean river design and bank reinforcement) are mentioned.

The project IsHUW was commissioned by ATV-DVWK to validate those statements. This is realized by developing cause-and-effect relations, based on model-based sensitivity analysis. Discharge variations of real and synthetic catchment areas are analyzed using hydrological and hydraulical models and the results are generalized by a statistical model.

Home-made floods? What's the influence of land use?
Experience interactively the impacts of land use changes:

Modify land use (max. 15%), the size of the catchment area and surface elevation. As results you will get changes of the flood peak discharge for minimum and maximum areal precipitation (NG) for different recurrence intervals T (in years).

NGMin(T) is the lower bound of expected areal precipitation in Germany with a recurrence interval of T years. NGMax(T) is the upper bound. The results are valid approximately for catchment areas with a size between 100 to 10000 km².

land use change in %

size of
catchment area:
km² min surface
elevation Hmin:
areal precipitation change of flood peak discharge %
T=5 T=50 T=100

Change of flood peak discharge for minimum (top) and maximum (bottom) areal precipitation with increasing recurrence intervals.


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updated: 21.01.2008