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Urban Floods in Spain

The Ebro River basin in Spain, characterised by recurrent flood episodes and a medium level of river flood hazard, provides a unique context.

Since the 1960s, the channelling of the Ebro River and its tributaries, coupled with rapid urbanisation and soil sealing, has increased both the frequency of floods and the damage they cause. In response, comprehensive initiatives, including hydro-geomorphological restoration and improved land planning, have been implemented to progressively reduce flood risks. 

This use case draws on an extensive archive of meteorological data, land cover metrics, and hydrological records, in addition to VHR LiDAR scans, to assess the effectiveness of CENTAUR in regions with complex river systems and urban layouts. In particular the use case will be focused on the exceptional flooding episode which affected the Ebro River basin in April 2018, caused by snowmelt in the Pyrenees.

Use Case Type: Cold & Hot

Flooding episode in Ebro Basin, Spain

Key Information:

Locality: Zaragoza

Event Date: 12/04/2018

Event Type: Riverine Flood

Use Case Objective: Map Urban Floods

Most Intense Flood Episode: Heavy rains and fast melting snow in 2015, 2018, and 2021.

Indicators to be tested:

  • Historical 6 hourly return period precipitation maps
  • Machine Learning data driven forecast of return period-based precipitation events in urban areas
  • Urban inundation probability maps and water depth defined by return period at a spatial resolution lower than 10m
  • Inferred Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) urban flood extent
  • Urban flooding map based on geomorphological and InSAR appraoch for an improved damage assessment
  • Social and traditional media indicators for urban flooding maps
  • Hazard web sources indicator
  • Economic impact of floods
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