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Flood research at JRC

In addition to the institutional research related to floods and hydrological extremes such as the EFAS, climate change, flood risk and flood hazard mapping, the FLOODS action is also involved in other research projects on floods.
The FLOODS action in the Joint Research Centre (JRC) focuses mainly on floods in Europe. Within the JRC there are other activities that provide information on floods. For example, the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) system hosted by the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC)  provides global mapping of detected flood events. Novel methods of flood detection based on satellite data are also developed there.



Research in the FLOODS action of the  Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES)/Joint Research Centre (JRC) related to flashfloods started in 2004 with feasibility study contracted out to the LTHE (Grenoble, FR) on “Increasing the forecasting lead-time of weather driven flash-floods” (Aquetin et. al., 2004).
Following results of the feasibility study, the JRC participated in the FLOODSite project (2005-2009) with a dedicated study on early warning of flashfloods in several test basins based on high-resolution operational weather forecasts.
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The work has been published in form of a paper in HESS by Younis et al (2008) as well as a detailed EUR – report by Younis and Thielen (2008).
The JRC currently participates in a new research project on early warning of flashfloods and debris flow, the IMPRINTS project.
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Scenario modelling on landuse and flood protection measures


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Flood scenario modeling is an effective approach to assess the potential impact of changes on the hydrological flow regime. The FLOODS action bases its research on the LISFLOOD hydrological model, which was specifically designed at the Joint Research Center (JRC) for the simulation of hydrological processes in large river basins. Once a reference run has been set-up, then the impact of changes to the initial set-up onto the hydrological regime can be assessed.

Within the FLOODS action we have mainly carried out two important scenario studies
  • One on the potential impact of landuse changes on the Oder floods in 1997
  • One of the impact of structural measures along the German part of the river Elbe
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Feasibility study for an early flood warning system in African river basins


In February 2009 the FLOODS action of the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES)/Joint Research Centre (JRC) started with a feasibility study examining  the potential of applying the European Flood Alert System (EFAS) approach to African basins. IES logo
FAO logo The key question is: Are the EFAS-methodologies transferable to African basins, and which modifications are required?
This question is being investigated within the FLOOD action in close collaboration with Somalia Water and Land Management Project (SWALIM) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECWMF) using the Juba & Shabelle river basins in Somalia & Ethiopia as a pilot.
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 May 2009 11:49