FRACAS: a next generation national Flood Risk Assessment under climate ChAnge Scenarios

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Civil Engineering and Geosciences


This proposed research will develop the new methodology required to make a step-change in our ability to quantify fluvial flood risk at large scales, incorporating climate change. This will combine existing and emerging technologies, to provide national and regional estimates of flood risk based on gridded models for improved assessment of flood risk to recurrence intervals in excess of 50 years. Linking gridded rainfall, runoff, flood defence performance and flood inundation models will significantly improve our ability to assess flood risk from extreme events and explore the potential impacts of climate change, including new scenarios, as they become available from UKCIPnext. This will include a spatially and temporally consistent gridded rainfall model operating over large spatial domains, a high resolution gridded runoff and flow routing model capable of modelling at the national scale and a continuous system analysis of flood inundation, taking account of defence performance. As each of these models will be run continuously in time, a continuous, linked flood risk analysis system will be developed for the first time. Each model will also be able to use derived future changes in climate to produce predictions of future in flood risk. Moreover there will be an assessment of the model and data uncertainties, as well as estimates of uncertainty due to climate change. These uncertainty assessments will include the propagation of uncertainty through the linked modelling system. The research will utilise many existing sources of data and build upon some established models and techniques, such as the Neyman-Scott Rectangular Pulses (NSRP) stochastic rainfall at the University of Newcastle, the CEH Grid-to-Grid (G2G) model, the RASP system models, and the use ensemble scenario sets to represent uncertainty. At the regional or large basin-scale analyses will include a grid-based (5km) rainfall model linked to a (1km) gridded runoff and routing model and associated knowledge of defence systems and new routines developed to translate rainfall to river levels. Such a modelling system is ultimately applicable at a national scale and this will be demonstrated for river flows. The precipitation for this demonstration will be sourced from observed rainfall datasets, or modelled time series, such as those available from RCMs driven with re-analysis data. The impact of future changes in rainfall, runoff and river levels on flood risk will be assessed within an enhanced version of the HR Wallingford RASP HLMplus model. Scenarios of climate change will be derived from a range of both global (GCMs) and regional climate models (RCMs). There will also be an analysis of the application of multi-ensemble climate scenarios and the generation of probabilistic scenarios of change in future flood risk.


10 25 50
Description See submission under NE/E002420/1
Exploitation Route See submission under NE/E002420/1
Sectors Environment

Description See submission under NE/E002420/1
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Environment
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services