Loughborough University
Yin Yu Wilby 2016 - revision submitted and acceptable version.pdf (3.98 MB)
Download file

Modelling the impact of land subsidence on urban pluvial flooding: a case study of downtown Shanghai, China.

Download (3.98 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2016-01-08, 14:34 authored by Jie Yin, Dapeng YuDapeng Yu, Robert WilbyRobert Wilby
This paper presents a numerical analysis of pluvial flooding to evaluate the impact of land subsidence on flood risks in urban contexts using a hydraulic model (FloodMap-HydroInundation2D). The pluvial flood event of August 2011 in Shanghai, China is used for model calibration and simulation. Evolving patterns of inundation (area and depth) are assessed over four time periods (1991, 1996, 2001 and 2011) for the downtown area, given local changes in topography and rates of land subsidence of up to 27mm/yr. The results show that land subsidence can lead to non-linear response of flood characteristics. However, the impact on flood depths is generally minor (<5cm) and limited to areas with lowest-lying topographies because of relatively uniform patterns of subsidence and micro-topographic variations at the local scale. Nonetheless, the modelling approach tested here may be applied to other cities where there are more marked rates of subsidence and/or greater heterogeneity in the depressed urban surface. In these cases, any identified hot-spots of subsidence and focusing of pluvial flooding may be targeted for adaptation interventions.


This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation in China (Grant No: 41201550, 41371493, 71373084), the Humanities and Social Science Project of Education Ministry (Grant No: 12YJCZH257), Innovation Program of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission (Grant No: 13YZ061, 13ZZ035), the Open Research Fund of State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research (Grant No: SKLEC-KF201407).



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment

Published in

The Science of the total environment




744 - 753


YIN, Y, YU, D. and WILBY, R.L., 2015. Modelling the impact of land subsidence on urban pluvial flooding: A case study of downtown Shanghai, China. Science of the Total Environment, 544, pp. 744-753.


© Elsevier


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Science of the Total Environment and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.11.159






  • en