Articles | Volume 17, issue 8
Research article
06 Aug 2013
Research article |  | 06 Aug 2013

Application of a model-based rainfall-runoff database as efficient tool for flood risk management

L. Brocca, S. Liersch, F. Melone, T. Moramarco, and M. Volk

Abstract. A framework for a comprehensive synthetic rainfall-runoff database was developed to study catchment response to a variety of rainfall events. The framework supports effective flood risk assessment and management and implements simple approaches. It consists of three flexible components, a rainfall generator, a continuous rainfall-runoff model, and a database management system. The system was developed and tested at two gauged river sections along the upper Tiber River (central Italy). One of the main questions was to investigate how simple such approaches can be applied without impairing the quality of the results. The rainfall-runoff model was used to simulate runoff on the basis of a large number of rainfall events. The resulting rainfall-runoff database stores pre-simulated events classified on the basis of the rainfall amount, initial wetness conditions and initial discharge. The real-time operational forecasts follow an analogue method that does not need new model simulations. However, the forecasts are based on the simulation results available in the rainfall-runoff database (for the specific class to which the forecast belongs). Therefore, the database can be used as an effective tool to assess possible streamflow scenarios assuming different rainfall volumes for the following days. The application to the study site shows that magnitudes of real flood events were appropriately captured by the database. Further work should be dedicated to introduce a component for taking account of the actual temporal distribution of rainfall events into the stochastic rainfall generator and to the use of different rainfall-runoff models to enhance the usability of the proposed procedure.