Design considerations for riverine floods in a changing climate – A review (2019)

B. François, K.E. Schlef, S. Wi, C.M. Brown, Design considerations for riverine floods in a changing climate–a review, J. Hydrol. (2019).


ABSTRACT: Conventional methods for designing infrastructure that is subject to flood risk, such as dams and levees, assume a stationary design flood. However, observed and potential non-stationarity in floods can result in costly over-design or dangerous under-design. Despite substantial attention, evidence from the literature makes clear there is no consensus methodology for estimating design variables under climate change. Practical guidance remains elusive. This paper presents a review of the challenges and advances in design of infrastructure for floods under non-stationarity. First, potential sources of non-stationarity in time series of floods are described to provide context and motivation. Second, methods for estimating design floods that rely on the stationary assumption are presented and their limitations are discussed. Third, methods for estimating design floods that assume non-stationarity resulting from climate change are summarized. Finally, the inadequacies of current design methodologies in view of the pervasive uncertainties are assessed and strategies to manage the consequences of those uncertainties are presented.

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