Recent trends in U.S. flood risk
journal contributionposted on 02.02.2017, 14:56 by Louise Slater, Gabriele Villarini
Flooding is projected to become more frequent as warming temperatures amplify the atmosphere’s water holding capacity and increase the occurrence of extreme precipitation events. However, there is still little evidence of regional changes in flood risk across the USA. Here, we present a novel approach assessing the trends in inundation frequency above the National Weather Service’s four flood level categories in 2,042 catchments. Results reveal stark regional patterns of changing flood risk that are broadly consistent above the four flood categories. We show that these patterns are dependent on the overall wetness and potential water storage, with fundamental implications for water resources management, agriculture, insurance, navigation, ecology, and populations living in flood-affected areas. Our findings may assist in a better communication of changing flood patterns to a wider audience compared with the more traditional approach of stating trends in terms of discharge magnitudes and frequencies.
This material is based upon work supported by the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Program and the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)–Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) under Contract No. W913E5-16-C-0002, IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, the Iowa Flood Center, the USACE Institute for Water Resources (G.V.) and the National Science Foundation under CAREER Grant AGS-1349827 (G.V.).
- Social Sciences
- Geography and Environment