Research Area:
Environmental Risks in Urban and Regional Development


Development of Multi-Sequential Mitigation Strategies for Urbanised Areas Prone to High Groundwater Level

Photo: Schinke
Authority: Schinke, IOER
Photo. Schinke

High groundwater levels as a secondary effect of floods with the resulting damage to buildings are mostly underestimated and neglected in the analysis of flood events. A major cause was the lack of methods and approaches to analyse such damage to buildings. This complicated the establishment of reliable, groundwater-related mitigation concepts as well as their implementation and communication by the responsible local authorities.

The ovjective of the research project focused on the development of a methodology to estimate damage to subterranean building constructions due to high groundwater level induced by heavy rainfall or by flood events along a river basin. The aquifer of the Dresden Elbe valley was used as case study to test the new methodology and to derivated risk-oriented mitigation concepts. The project includes also the development of suitable strategies for communication and visualization.

The contribution of the IOER focused on the development of a damage simulation model with high spatial and context-related resolution to estimate damage to buildings in consequence of high groundwater levels. Against this backdrop, the damage model aimed at an event- and scenario-based analysis of potential damage so that the effectiveness and efficiency of mitigation measures can be assessed.

The methodology and the damage simulation model was tested in city of Dresden. The calculation based on coupling of information at object level that illustrates the high spatial resolution of the approach.The model approach integrates the results of the groundwater flow modeling (DGFZ), the object-based mapping of building types (IOER) and the synthetic vulnerability analysis for the subterranean building construction due to high groundwater level (IOER). Due to the flexible, modular structure, the model can be adapted to different requirements with regard to the spatial scale level and site-specific questions.In evaluation and interpretation of the calculation results, the risks due to high groundwater levels and the effectiveness of mitigation concepts can be shown in cartographical maps and statistical evaluations. Thus, the model contributed significantly to the overall goal of the joint project.

Schinke, Reinhard; Neubert, Marco; Hennersdorf, Jörg; Stodolny, U.; Sommer, T.; Naumann, Thomas: Damage estimation of subterranean building constructions due to groundwater inundation – the GIS-based model approach GRUWAD In: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 12 (2012) 9, S. 2865-2877, doi:10.5194/nhess-12-2865-2012 

Schinke, Reinhard; Neubert, Marco; Hennersdorf, Jörg; Gruhler, Karin: Schadensmodellierung auf der Grundlage gebäudetypologischer Untersuchungen und synthetisch ermittelter Schadensbeziehungen; In: Sommer, T.; Deilmann, C.; Kreibich, H.; Grunenberg, H. ; Bothmer, D.; Ullrich, K. (Hrsg.): Unterirdische Schadenspotentiale durch Grundhochwasser in urbanen Lebensräumen. Dresden: Dresdner Grundwasserforschungszentrum, 2012, (Gemeinsame Mitteilungen des Dresdner Grundwasserforschungszentrums e.V. und seiner Partner; 6/2012), S.31-72


12/2006 - 04/2010


Dr.-Ing. Reinhard Schinke
Phone +49 351 4679 295


BMBF - German Federal Ministry of Education and Research


BMBF-National Research Programme "Risk Management of Extreme Flood Events" (RIMAX)


  • Dresdner Grundwasserforschungszentrum e. V. (Project Leader)
  • Hochschule Zittau/Görlitz
  • Universität Lüneburg
  • Landeshauptstadt Dresden
  • GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam