Research Area:
Environmental Risks in Urban and Regional Development


Estimating potential flood damage to buildings in rural and small-town areas based on synthetic depth-damage functions

Pilot application at the Pleiße river (Thuringia)

Flood-level markers of the Pleiße river in Thuringia (source: R. Schinke, IOER)
two flood-level markers

One important element of flood risk management is the study of likely damage through flooding, particularly to answer questions of cost effectiveness and to prioritize protection concepts. Such studies requires detailed and proven approaches that permit the illustration of potential damage to a high spatial and contextual resolution. The pilot application for the Pleiße river in Thuringia aimed at (i) gathering additional data and information in order to demonstrate the advantages of the synthetic method developed by the IOER for application in the state of Thuringia, and (ii) making use of scenarios to estimate potential flood damage, on which basis the cost effectiveness of the flood protection concept for the Pleiße river could be evaluated. 

The prognosis of flood damage is based on a synthetic method developed at the IOER, whereby site-specific depth-damage functions are determined by means of a step-by-step virtual flooding of characteristic buildings and an estimation of subsequent remediation costs. Enhancements to this method focuses for application in Thuringia in order to take account of rural or small-town settlement structures.

By applying a building typology to map settlement structures along the Thuringian Pleiße, it was possible to gain insights into damage-relevant building attributes as well as characteristic features of rural building types in Thuringia. This information formed the basis for studies on likely flood damage as well as an investigation of the cost effectiveness of the flood protection concept in the catchment area of the Pleiße. Thereby it was possible to demonstrate the advantages of this approach, which has already been established in Saxony and to create a solid basis for its use in other study investigation areas in Thuringia.





Thüringer Landesanstalt für Umwelt und Geologie - TLUG