EGU2020-10062, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Modeling of pluvial flash floods in pre-Alpine regions and assessment of potential climate change impacts

Andreas Huber1, Simon Lumassegger1, David Leidinger2, Stefan Achleitner1, Herbert Formayer2, and Bernhard Kohl3
Andreas Huber et al.
  • 1Unit of Hydraulic Engineering, Institute for Infrastructure Engineering, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2Institute of Meteorology and Climatology (BOKU-Met), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • 3Department of Natural Hazards, Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW), Innsbruck, Austria

In recent years the topic of flash flooding away from rivers and permanent watercourses has attracted increasing attention from the scientific community, public authorities and affected parts of the general public. Not only urban areas with a high proportion of sealed surfaces, but also rural areas have been adversely affected by pluvial flash floods (PFFs) or surface water floods (SWFs) in the recent past. Empirical evidence suggests that amongst others pre-Alpine areas (e.g. in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, ...) might be especially susceptible to this type of flooding. From a water-management perspective knowledge about potentially endangered areas is important for involved stake-holders as a basis for informed decisions on a variety of topics ranging from protection of existing infrastructure and adaptation of current land use practices to future settlement development. In the light of changing climatic conditions also information on projected future developments is highly desirable. With respect to the latter, an increasing number of datasets from national and pan-European climate-services has become publicly available. Also a growing proportion of two-dimensional hydrodynamic models supports direct rainfall as a boundary condition, thus addressing the special requirements for modeling of PFFs/SWFs.

We utilize different two-dimensional hydrodynamic models (unstructured-mesh, raster-based) in combination with an event-based hydrological approach to simulate the spatial distribution of surface runoff in response to heavy precipitation events for present conditions and under projected future conditions for small rural areas (< 2km²) in Upper Austria. The general applicability of the used modeling approach is demonstrated. However, also a number of remaining challenges related to the limited quantity and quality of observational data for model calibration and the definition of representative future scenarios is identified and discussed.

How to cite: Huber, A., Lumassegger, S., Leidinger, D., Achleitner, S., Formayer, H., and Kohl, B.: Modeling of pluvial flash floods in pre-Alpine regions and assessment of potential climate change impacts, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10062,, 2020


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displays version 2 – uploaded on 06 May 2020
...corrected typos
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-10062, Tommaso Piacentini, 06 May 2020


    Very interesting!

    I wonder what the future scenarios and projections are based on.

    It is all based on the SICCA.EU project? are the projection based on climate modeling or actual data and trends?

    Thanks in advance


    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Andreas Huber, 06 May 2020

      Hi Tommaso,

      The projections shown in the presentation are based on the data, which are based on climate modeling.

      The colleagues at BOKU University also analysed actual data from rain gauges in the study area and tried to establish relations between precipiation intensities and temperatures from the measurements (see reference on the second slide Leidinger et al., 2019). These temperature/precipitation intensity relations were then used in combination with temperature projections from different climate models to also obtain change rates for precipitation events of different duration and occurence probability.

      However, this part of the work is not presented in the slides.



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