As climate change continues to cause unpredictable and extreme weather events around the world, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University researchers are calling for engineers to rethink how they design for flood prevention.
In a recently published paper in the Journal of Hydrology, PhD student Mengzhu Chen and Dean of XJTLU’s Design School, Dr Konstantinos Papadikis, analysed historical flood series and meteorological data from 158 catchment areas across the UK.
They found that flood series in most areas do not follow historical patterns. This finding directly challenges the use of a type of analysis that focuses on how often floods occurred in an area in the past. Flood frequency analysis has been the cornerstone of flood risk control, hydraulic structure design, and water resource management.
“Conventional methods for flood frequency analysis fail to take into account the volatile nature of floods caused by climate change, human intervention, and land-use changes,” Chen says.
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