Analysis and developments of uncertainty processors for real time flood forecasting

Coccia, Gabriele (2011) Analysis and developments of uncertainty processors for real time flood forecasting, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Modellistica fisica per la protezione dell'ambiente, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3423.
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The hydrologic risk (and the hydro-geologic one, closely related to it) is, and has always been, a very relevant issue, due to the severe consequences that may be provoked by a flooding or by waters in general in terms of human and economic losses. Floods are natural phenomena, often catastrophic, and cannot be avoided, but their damages can be reduced if they are predicted sufficiently in advance. For this reason, the flood forecasting plays an essential role in the hydro-geological and hydrological risk prevention. Thanks to the development of sophisticated meteorological, hydrologic and hydraulic models, in recent decades the flood forecasting has made a significant progress, nonetheless, models are imperfect, which means that we are still left with a residual uncertainty on what will actually happen. In this thesis, this type of uncertainty is what will be discussed and analyzed. In operational problems, it is possible to affirm that the ultimate aim of forecasting systems is not to reproduce the river behavior, but this is only a means through which reducing the uncertainty associated to what will happen as a consequence of a precipitation event. In other words, the main objective is to assess whether or not preventive interventions should be adopted and which operational strategy may represent the best option. The main problem for a decision maker is to interpret model results and translate them into an effective intervention strategy. To make this possible, it is necessary to clearly define what is meant by uncertainty, since in the literature confusion is often made on this issue. Therefore, the first objective of this thesis is to clarify this concept, starting with a key question: should be the choice of the intervention strategy to adopt based on the evaluation of the model prediction based on its ability to represent the reality or on the evaluation of what actually will happen on the basis of the information given by the model forecast? Once the previous idea is made unambiguous, the other main concern of this work is to develope a tool that can provide an effective decision support, making possible doing objective and realistic risk evaluations. In particular, such tool should be able to provide an uncertainty assessment as accurate as possible. This means primarily three things: it must be able to correctly combine all the available deterministic forecasts, it must assess the probability distribution of the predicted quantity and it must quantify the flooding probability. Furthermore, given that the time to implement prevention strategies is often limited, the flooding probability will have to be linked to the time of occurrence. For this reason, it is necessary to quantify the flooding probability within a horizon time related to that required to implement the intervention strategy and it is also necessary to assess the probability of the flooding time.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Coccia, Gabriele
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Hydrology, Uncertainy, Flood Forecasting, Post-processing, Bayesian
Data di discussione
16 Maggio 2011

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