Natural Hazards

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 117–140 | Cite as

Risk analysis for flood-control structure under consideration of uncertainties in design flood

  • Shiang-Jen Wu
  • Jinn-Chuang Yang
  • Yeou-Koung Tung
Original Paper


This study presents a risk analysis model to evaluate the failure risk for the flood-control structures in the Keelung River due to the uncertainties in the hydrological and hydraulic analysis, including hydrologic, hydraulic, and geomorphologic uncertainty factors. This study defines failure risk as the overtopping probability of the maximum water level exceeding the levee crown, and the proposed risk analysis model integrates with the advanced first-order and second-moment (AFOSM) method to calculate the overtopping probability of levee system. The proposed model is used to evaluate the effects of the freeboard and flood-diversion channel on the flood-control ability of the levees in the Keelung River, which were designed based on the 3-day, 200-year design rainfall event. The numerical experiments indicate that the hydrologic uncertainty factors have more effect on the estimated maximum water level than hydraulic and geomorphologic uncertainty factors. In addition, the freeboard and the flood-diversion channel can effectively reduce the overtopping probability so as to significantly enhance the flood-control capacity of the levee system in the Keelung River. Eventually, the proposed risk analysis successfully quantifies the overtopping risk of the levee system under a scenario, the increase in the average 200-year rainfall amount due to climate change, and the results could be useful when planning to upgrade the existing levee system.


Design flood Overtopping probability Multivariate Monte Carlo simulation Advanced first-order second-moment (AFOSM) Climate change 



The authors would like to express their appreciation to the Taiwan Water Resources Agency for providing the field data and for financial support under Project No. MOEAWRA0960199 ‘Evaluation of Risk Factors affecting the Functions of Hydraulic Structures (Except Storage structures) and Development of its Analysis Procedure’.


  1. Anselmo V, Galeati G, Palmieri S, Rossi U, Todini E (1996) Flood risk assessment using and integrated hydrological and hydraulic modeling approach: a case study. J Hydrol 175:533–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Apel H, Thieken AH, Merz B, Bloschl G (2004) Flood risk assessment and associated uncertainty. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 4:295–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Apel H, Thieken AH, Merz B, Bloschl G (2006) A probability modeling system for assessing flood risks. Nat Hazards 38(1–2):79–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Apel H, Merz B, Thieken AH (2009) Influence of dike breaches on flood frequency estimation. Comput Geosci 35(5):907–923CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Booij MJ (2005) Impact of climate change on river flooding assessed with different spatial model resolutions. J Hydrol 303:176–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cheng KS, Hueter I, Hsu EC, Yen HC (2001) A scale-invariant Gauss-Markov model for design storm hyetographs. J Am Water Resour As 37(3):723–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chou CM, Wang RY (2002) On-line estimation of unit hydrograph using the wavelet-based LMS algorithm. Hydrol Sci J 47(5):721–738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gouldby B, Samuels P, Klijn F, Messner F, van Os A, Sayers P, Schanze J (2005) Language of risk. Project definitions. FLOODSite report, T32‐04‐01, p 56Google Scholar
  9. Hadiani MO, Ebadi AG (2007) The role of land use changing in uncertainty of hydraulic structures. World Appl Sci J 2(2):136–141Google Scholar
  10. IPCC (2001) Climate change 2001: the scientific basis. In: Houghton JT, Ding Y, Griggs DJ, Noguer M, van der Linden PJ, Dai X, Maskell K (eds) Contribution of working Group I to the third assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  11. Keifer CJ, Chu HH (1957) Synthetic storm pattern for drainage design. ASCE J Hydraul Eng 83(4):1332/1–1332/24Google Scholar
  12. Lee HL, Mays LW (1986) Hydraulic uncertainty in flood levee capacity. J Hydraul Eng 112(10):928–934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mansell MG (1997) The effect of climate change on rainfall trends and flooding risk in the West of Scotland. Nordic Hydrol 28:37–50Google Scholar
  14. Mays LW (2001) Stormwater collection system design handbook. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. National Research Council (2000) Risk analysis and uncertainty in flood damage reduction studies. National Academic Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  16. Neuhold C, Stanzel P, Nachtnebel HP (2009) Incorporating river morphological change to flood risk assessment, uncertainty, methodology and application. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 9:789–799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rodriguez-Iturbe I, Gonzalez SM, Bras RL (1982) A geomorphoclimatic theory of instantaneous unit hydrograph. Water Resour Res 18(4):877–886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Salas JD, Burlando P, Heo JH, Lee DJ (2003) The axis of risk and uncertainty in hydrologic design. Hydrol Days 153–164Google Scholar
  19. Schulz EF, Pinkayan S, Komsartra C (1971) Comparsion of dimensionless unit hydrographs in Thailand and Taiwan. Nordic Hydrol 2:23–46Google Scholar
  20. Smith K, Ward R (1998) FLOODS: physical processes and human impacts. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Snyder FF (1938) Synthetic unitgraphs. Trans Am Geophys Union 19:447–454Google Scholar
  22. Soil Conservation Service (1972) National engineering handbook, section 4, Hydrology. US 444 Department of Agriculture, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  23. Tung YK (1985) Models for evaluating flow conveyance reliability of hydraulic structures. Water Resour Res 21:1463–1468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tung YK, Mays LW (1981) Risk model for flood levee design. Water Resour Res 17(4):833–841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Uhlenbrook S, Seibert J, Leibundgut C, Rodhe A (1999) Prediction uncertainty of conceptual rainfall runoff models caused by problems in identifying model parameters and structure. Hydrol Sci J 44(5):779–797CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Water Resources Agency (WRA) (2005) A review study of Keelung River basin regulation planning. Technologic report of Ministry of Economic Affairs, TaipeiGoogle Scholar
  27. WL|Delft Hydraulics (2005) SOBEK river/estuary user manual. SOBEK Help DeskGoogle Scholar
  28. Wu CM (1965) Design untigraph for floods in Taiwan. Water Resources Planning Commission, Ministry of Economic Affairs, TaipeiGoogle Scholar
  29. Wu SJ, Tung YK, Yang JC (2006) Stochastic generation of hourly rainstorm events. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess 21(2):195–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yen BC (1970) Risk in hydrologic design of engineering project. J Hydraul Div 96(4):959–966Google Scholar
  31. Yen BC, Lee KT (1997) Unit hydrograph derivation for ungauged watershed by stream-order law. J Hydrol Eng 2(1):1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yu ZB, White RA, Guo YJ, Voortman J, Kolb PJ, Miller DA, Miller A (2001) Stormflow simulation using a geographical information system with a distributed approach. J Am Water Resour As 37(44):957–971CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiang-Jen Wu
    • 1
  • Jinn-Chuang Yang
    • 2
  • Yeou-Koung Tung
    • 3
  1. 1.National Center for High-Performance ComputingHsinchuTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringNational Chiao Tung UniversityHsinchuTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringHong Kong University of Science and TechnologyClear Water BayHong Kong

Personalised recommendations