Flood hazard assessment and the role of citizen science

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  • Publish Date December 17, 2018
  • Last Updated September 19, 2021

Flood hazard assessment and the role of citizen science

Flood hazard assessment is at the core of flood risk management. In order to develop an efficient flood hazard assessment, it is of primary importance to have a well-defined flood scenario encompassing all processes that could occur during an event. Understanding and assessing these processes requires meteorological, topographical and land-use data as well as historical observations. Nowadays, flood delineation is based upon hydrological and hydraulic modelling, ground data collection, and remote sensing. Despite the advantages of these tools, they also present some specific limitations, either intrinsic to the approaches or linked with constraints of the local context. With the rapid advancement of web 2.0 technologies (e.g., Flickr and Wikimapia) and the increase of the use of participatory research, citizen science has the potential to provide valuable and complementary information at all levels of flood risk management and in particular for flood hazard assessment. After reviewing the capabilities and limitations of the current tools used in flood hazard assessment, this paper demonstrates the role that citizen science can play in providing key information on factors leading to flooding and on flood hazard parameters.

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