Extreme floods in Switzerland

Floods are one the most frequent natural hazards. Extreme flood events have occurred in many Swiss catchments causing health, environmental, economic and societal damage. This project aims to estimate flood peaks by implementing a hydrometeorological modeling chain with long continuous simulations. This approach has previously been used for flood hazard assessment in the EXAR Project. For this reason, the overall focus of this Ph.D. thesis is to adopt the approach of continuous simulations for several catchments in Switzerland and to determine the robustness of this approach, by unraveling the impact of sensitive elements of the hydrometeorological chain on the simulated extreme flood events.

The model chain starts with a multi-site stochastic weather generator, which focuses on the generation of extremely high precipitation events. Then, the long continuous simulations of precipitation and temperature that are derived from the weather generator serve as a basis for the hydrological modeling. A bucket-type hydrological model is selected for the simulation of the discharge time series. The hydrological routing is the last part of the model chain, where the RS Minerve model will be implemented to provide information about the river channel hydraulics and floodplains, for selected large catchments.

Contact: Eleni Kritidou

Supervisors: PD Dr. Daniel Viviroli (daniel.viviroli@geo.uzh.ch)

Co-supervisor: Prof. Dr. Jan Seibert (jan.seibert@geo.uzh.ch)