Spatio-temporal dynamics in the flood exposure due to land use changes in an Alpine valley in Tyrol (Austria).

H. Camerrer, A. Thieken, P.H. Verburg

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Flood risk is expected to increase in many regions of the world in the next decades with rising flood losses as a consequence. First and foremost, it can be attributed to the expansion of settlement and industrial areas into flood plains and the resulting accumulation of assets. For a future-oriented and a more robust flood risk management, it is therefore of importance not only to estimate potential impacts of climate change on the flood hazard, but also to analyze the spatio-temporal dynamics of flood exposure due to land use changes. In this study, carried out in the Alpine Lech Valley in Tyrol (Austria), various land use scenarios until 2030 were developed by means of a spatially explicit land use model, national spatial planning scenarios and current spatial policies. The combination of the simulated land use patterns with different inundation scenarios enabled us to derive statements about possible future changes in flood-exposed built-up areas. The results indicate that the potential assets at risk depend very much on the selected socioeconomic scenario. The important conditions affecting the potential assets at risk that differ between the scenarios are the demand for new built-up areas as well as on the types of conversions allowed to provide the necessary areas at certain locations. The range of potential changes in flood-exposed residential areas varies from no further change in the most moderate scenario 'Overall Risk' to 119 % increase in the most extreme scenario 'Overall Growth' (under current spatial policy) and 159 % increase when disregarding current building restrictions. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1243-1270
    JournalNatural Hazards
    Issue number3
    Early online date9 Aug 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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