An Efficient Modeling Approach for Probabilistic Assessments of Present-Day and Future Fluvial Flooding

Hieu Ngo, Roshanka Ranasinghe, Chris Zevenbergen, Ebru Kirezci, Dikman Maheng, Mohanasundar Radhakrishnan, Assela Pathirana*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


Risk-informed flood risk management requires a comprehensive and quantitative risk assessment, which often demands multiple (thousands of) river and flood model simulations. Performing such a large number of model simulations is a challenge, especially for large, complex river systems (e.g., Mekong) due to the associated computational and resource demands. This article presents an efficient probabilistic modeling approach that combines a simplified 1D hydrodynamic model for the entire Mekong Delta with a detailed 1D/2D coupled model and demonstrates its application at Can Tho city in the Mekong Delta. Probabilistic flood-hazard maps, ranging from 0.5 to 100 year return period events, are obtained for the urban center of Can Tho city under different future scenarios taking into account the impact of climate change forcing (river flow, sea-level rise, storm surge) and land subsidence. Results obtained under present conditions show that more than 12% of the study area is inundated by the present-day 100 year return period of water level. Future projections show that, if the present rate of land subsidence continues, by 2050 (under both RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 climate scenarios), the 0.5 and 100 year return period flood extents will increase by around 15- and 8-fold, respectively, relative to the present-day flood extent. However, without land subsidence, the projected increases in the 0.5 and 100 year return period flood extents by 2050 (under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) are limited to between a doubling to tripling of the present-day flood extent. Therefore, adaptation measures that can reduce the rate of land subsidence (e.g., limiting groundwater extraction), would substantially mitigate future flood hazards in the study area. A combination of restricted groundwater extraction and the construction of a new and more efficient urban drainage network would facilitate even further reductions in the flood hazard. The projected 15-fold increase in flood extent projected by 2050 for the twice per year (0.5 year return period) flood event implies that the “do nothing” management approach is not a feasible option for Can Tho.

Original languageEnglish
Article number798618
Number of pages22
JournalFrontiers in Climate
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • 1D/2D modeling
  • Mekong Delta
  • surrogate model
  • urban drainage
  • urban flood
  • Vietnam


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