WP1: Risk assessment, policy, management and planning strategy in study sites


 Leader: Robert J. Nicholls, SOTON


General aim is to assess present risk conditions and to develop scenarios of drivers and impacts of changing flood risk in THESEUS study sites. In principle, coastal risk assessment is the analysis and evaluation of a broad range of measures and strategies to reduce coastal risks, either by reducing the probability or the consequences of flooding events. Such analyses would generally consider both the present and future situation, subject to a specification of relevant scenario developments (such as economic and spatial developments and climate  change). More specific analyses would be used to establish required flood protection measures to maintain future safety levels. Other applications may include establishing desired safety levels for coastal areas. Desired safety levels would follow from balancing the reduction in risks that would be achieved by decreasing the probability of failure of flood defence systems and the costs of improving flood defence systems to achieve a decrease in failure probability. Given the nature of the processes and mechanisms involved, flood risk assessment is subject to a number of major uncertainties related to  natural variability and knowledge uncertainty. Among the most important uncertainties dealt with in the earlier Safecoast project are:

  • the occurrence and development of hydraulic loads leading to failure of flood defence systems (in relation to climate change);
  • the performance of defence systems and the location and nature of the failure (failure mechanism and extent of possible breaches);
  • the extent, duration and depth of the flooding event;
  • the extent of flood damages and casualties (in relation to economic and demographic developments).

WT 1.1   Assessment of current policy, management and planning strategy and durability of strategies on coastal defences
WT 1.2   Present climate assessment and scenarios for future climate and extreme conditions (Leader: Ralf Weisse, GKSS)
WT 1.3   Quantified scenarios analysis of drivers and impacts of changing flood risk (Leader: Robert J. Nicholls, SOTON)
WT 1.4   Erosion and flooding scenarios (Leader: Fernando Mendez, UC)
WT 1.5   Environment vulnerability to storm damage and sea water inundation (Leader: Stoyan Keremedchiev, IO-BAS)
WT 1.6   Modelling uncertainties in coastal processes through monitoring systems and early warning (Leader: Andrea Taramelli, ISPRA)
WT 1.7   Social risk perception and economic profiling and damage assessment (Leader: Jean Paul Vanderlinden, USVQ)

Baseline: Current methodologies for risk assessment (Eurosion, SURVAS, DINAS-COAST, FLOODsite, SafeCoast).

 Performance/ Research Indicators:

  • Consolidated methologies for the assessment of coastal vulnerability and resilience to erosion and floods
  • Risk assessment in study sites, with analysis of drivers and impacts of changing flood risk and uncertainties in coastal process

Robert J. Nicholls