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IMPACT: IMPACT- Investigation of Extreme Flood Processes & Uncertainty

Type of Entry: Project
Website: http://www.samui.co.uk/impact-project/


The IMPACT project addresses the assessment and reduction of risks from extreme flooding caused by:

  • natural events
  • the failure of dams and flood defence structures.

In Europe, the asset value of dam and flood defence structures amounts to many billions of Euro. These structures include, for example, dams, weirs, sluices, flood embankments, dikes, tailings dams etc. Whilst such extreme flood events are rare, when they do occur they can pose a significant threat to human life (e.g. 400 casualties for the Malpasset Dam failure) and immense economic and environmental damage. To manage and minimise these risks effectively, it is necessary to be able to identify hazards and vulnerability in a consistent and reliable manner, to have good knowledge of structure behaviour in emergency situations, and to understand the potential consequences of failure in order to allow effective contingency planning for public safety.


Research for this project has been structured in order to have the greatest impact on reducing uncertainty in predicting extreme flood conditions.

Specific objectives are:

  • to advance scientific knowledge and understanding
  • and develop predictive modelling tools in four key areas.

Firstly, the movement of sediment (and potentially with pollutants).

Secondly, the mechanisms for the breaching of embankments (dams or flood control dykes) and factors determining breach location.

Thirdly, the simulation of catastrophic inundation of valleys and urban areas and fourthly the use of geophysical techniques for the rapid integrity assessment of flood defence embankments.

A key objective of the IMPACT project is to advance the understanding of uncertainty associated with the above processes. This knowledge will be combined through a single system (case study etc.) to demonstrate the real magnitude of uncertainty associated with the end data and implications for its application within industry (i.e. for asset management, emergency planning etc.).


The IMPACT project will lead to improved scientific knowledge and understanding of extreme and aggressive flood flows following the catastrophic failure of a water control structure. The work will provide specific scientific knowledge and understanding relating to breach formation through dams and flood defence structures, the movement of sediment under extreme flood conditions and the simulation of flooding in urban areas. It will improve our understanding of the risks associated with the potential failure of dams and flood defence structures and also our understanding of the uncertainty associated with the prediction of extreme flood conditions and processes. Through application of this knowledge within industry, this should ultimately lead to a reduction in the risk of failure and improved public safety through emergency planning and community disaster preparedness

Keywords: Dam, Dyke, Flood, Flood Risk Management
IMPACT project results. (2.250.243 Bytes)
The selected documents concerning directly the IMPACT project results.
Contact: Mr M. Morris
HR Wallingford Ltd
Howbery Park
OX10 8BA Wallingford, Oxfordshire
Telephone: +44 (0) 1491 835381
Fax: +44 (0) 1491 832233
E-Mail: m.morris@hrwallingford.co.uk
Website: www.hrwallingford.co.uk
Partner: Universität Der Bundeswehr Munchen (www.unibw-muenchen.de)
Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) (www.gce.ucl.ac.be)
CEMAGREF French Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering Research (www.cemagref.fr)
Università di Trento (www.ing.unitn.it)
University of Zaragoza (Spain) (www.unizar.es)
CESI, Italy (www.cesi.it)
SWECO Gröner AS (www.sweco.no)
Geo Group, Czech Republic (www.geo-praha.cz)
H-EURAqua, Hungary
Financed by: European Commission