Regional Versus Physically-Based Methods For Flood Inundation Modelling In Data Scarce Areas: An Application To The Blue Nile

K Yan, F Pappenberger, Y.M. Umer, Dmitri Solomatine, G Di Baldassarre

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

17 Downloads (Pure)


One of the main obstacles in mapping flood hazard in data scarce areas is the difficulty in estimating the design flood, i.e. river discharge corresponding to a given return period. This exercise can be carried out using regionalization techniques, which are based on flood data of regions with similar hydro-climatic conditions, or employing physically based model cascades. In this context, we compared the flood extents maps derived for a river reach of the Blue Nile following two alternative methods: i) regional envelope curve (REC), whereby design floods (e.g. 1-in-20 and 1-in-100 year flood peaks) are derived from African envelope curves and ii) physical model cascade (PMC), whereby design floods are calculated from the physical model chain of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF,). The two design flood estimates are then used as input of a 2D hydraulic model LISFLOOD-FP and the simulated flood extents are quantitatively evaluated by comparing to a reference flood extent model, which uses design floods estimated from in situ data. The results show the complexity in assessing flood hazard in data scarce area as PMC largely overestimates the flood extent, while REC underestimates it.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the HIC 2014 - 11th international conference on hydroinformatics
EditorsM Piasecki
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event11th International Conference on Hydroinformatics - New York, United States
Duration: 17 Aug 201421 Aug 2014
Conference number: 11

Publication series



Conference11th International Conference on Hydroinformatics
Abbreviated titleHIC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Internet address


  • Flood hazard mapping
  • regional envelope curve
  • physical model cascade
  • design flood estimation


Dive into the research topics of 'Regional Versus Physically-Based Methods For Flood Inundation Modelling In Data Scarce Areas: An Application To The Blue Nile'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this