Natural Hazards

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 287–307 | Cite as

Probabilistic flood risk analysis considering morphological dynamics and dike failure

  • J. Oliver
  • X. S. QinEmail author
  • O. Larsen
  • M. Meadows
  • M. Fielding
Original Paper


A comprehensive flood risk assessment should aim not only at quantifying uncertainties but also the variability of risk over time. In this study, an efficient modelling framework was proposed to perform probabilistic hazard and risk analysis in dike-protected river systems accounting for morphological variability and uncertainty. The modelling framework combined the use of: (1) continuous synthetic discharge forcing, (2) a stochastic dike breach model dynamically coupled to a stochastic unsteady one-dimensional hydraulic model (MIKE1D) describing river flows, (3) a catalogue of pre-run probabilistic inundation maps (MIKE SHE) and (4) a damage and loss model (CAPRA). The methodology was applied using continuous simulations to a 45-km reach of the Upper Koshi River, Nepal, to investigate the changes in breach and flood hazards and subsequent risks after 2 and 5 years of probable river bed aggradation. The study results indicated an increase in annual average loss of 4% per year driven by changes in loss distribution in the most frequent loss return periods (20–500 years). The use of continuous simulations and dike breach model also provided a more robust estimation of risk metrics as compared to traditional binary treatment of flood defence and/or the direct association of flow with loss return periods. The results were helpful to illustrate the potential impacts of dynamic river morphology, dike failure and continuous simulation and their significance when devising flood risk study methodologies.


Aggradation Flood risk Dike failure MIKE1D MIKE SHE 



The study was funded by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the World Bank, the Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore (IPP Scholarship), and the DHI-NTU Research Centre and Education Hub. The findings and conclusions contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of GFDRR or the World Bank. The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution by Nepal Development Research Institute (NDRI) for providing the vulnerability curves for residential assets; the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Nepal, for providing the historical discharge data, the Water Resources Department, Government of Bihar, India, for providing gate operation rules; and Department of Irrigation, Nepal, for providing data of and access to the Sunsari-Morang Irrigation Project who provided crucial data to the study. Special thanks are directed to Dr. Guna Paudyal, Erickson Lanuza and Jesper Grooss for their valuable support and scientific guidance to the project throughout. We gratefully thank Jaya Gurung from NDRI and Steven Rubinyi, Avani Dixit and Marc Forni from the GFDRR and colleagues at DHI, Nanyang Technological University’s Interdisciplinary Graduate School (IGS) and Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI), for their support and advice.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Oliver
    • 1
    • 2
  • X. S. Qin
    • 3
    Email author
  • O. Larsen
    • 2
  • M. Meadows
    • 2
  • M. Fielding
    • 2
  1. 1.Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Interdisciplinary Graduate SchoolNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.DHI Water & Environment (S) Pte. Ltd.SingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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