Flood Risk and Flood Management

Lecturer (assistant)
Duration4 SWS
TermSommersemester 2024
Language of instructionEnglish
Position within curriculaSee TUMonline
DatesSee TUMonline


Admission information


At the end of the module, students are able to: - understand the basic concepts of flood risk management as well as the legal and social framework, - carry out the methods for hydrological modeling of floods and - apply the methods for hazard and damage assessment and flood risk assessment - evaluate and select the effectiveness of flood protection measures. - use the MATLAB programming language in the subject-specific environment of flood risk management. - put the theoretical and mathematical concepts into practice in MATLAB. - understand and use the hydrological model HEC-HMS and the hydrodynamic model HEC-RAS for flood modelling


The importance of flood risk management and the social and political framework for action are examined from a hydrological perspective. Furthermore, methods and models for the hydrological and hydraulic modeling of flood events are presented by the Chair of Hydrology. The lectures include quantitative methods for the analysis of flood damage and risk and methods for risk-based evaluation and optimization of flood protection measures. The accompanying exercises impart the knowledge required for the work and apply it to examples from the lectures. MATLAB scripts are used for this. Furthermore, after a corresponding theoretical introduction, a simulation is carried out with the HEC models HEC-HMS (hydrology) and HEC-RAS (flooding), which are frequently used worldwide. Lecture part Hydrology and River Basin Management: - Safety and risk - Risk management cycle - Qualitative and quantitative methods for flood risk assessment - Planning of flood measures: Methods for determining design values - Flood statistics based on measurement data - Content and significance of the EU Flood Risk Management Directive - Technical and decentralized flood protection measures - Failure of flood protection measures - Hazard scenarios for flood risk management - Risk and risk acceptance: dialog, communication and legal aspects Exercise part: Hydrology and river basin management: - Basics of hydrological modeling - Introduction to HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS - Combined hydrological/hydrodynamic simulation with HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS Lecture and exercise part: Quantitative risk assessment - Evaluation/optimization of protection measures (e.g. cost-benefit analysis), decision making, risk acceptance - Evaluation of flood damage - Quantification of the flood risk - Quantification of uncertainty, sensitivity analysis - Evaluation of scenarios and decision-making The theoretical concepts of "Quantitative Risk Assessment" are explained in the lectures and implemented in the exercises with simple examples using MATLAB.


(Recommended) requirements: Fundamentals of hydrology (e.g. Grundmodul Hydrologie, bachelor program Umweltingenieurwesen,. TUM) Fundamentals of probability theory and risk analysis (e.g.Umweltmonitoring und Risikomanagement, bachelor program Umweltingenieurwesen,. TUM) Fundamentals of programming in Matlab

Teaching and learning methods

The module consists of a lecture with integrated exercise (4 SWS) and is supervised by the Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management. 1. the contents of the lecture are taught in lectures and presentations. Students are encouraged to study the recommended literature and discuss the topics. 2. in the exercises, students solve concrete exercises independently and mostly with computer support (own laptop required!) and practice technical skills in using MATLAB. This is done in individual or group work. 3. in homework assignments to be submitted as group work, the acquired skills are applied and presented using case studies from flood risk management. Peer reviews ensure feedback not only from the teaching staff but also from fellow students.


The assessment takes the form of a 120-minute written exam. The students must reproduce the acquired learning outcomes (see below). The examination tasks are divided into two categories: approx. 60% of the examination tasks consist of questions on knowledge and understanding of the concepts of hydrological flood modeling and flood risk management, approx. 40% of the examination questions test the theoretical understanding of the implementation and mathematical application of quantitative methods for damage and risk assessment as well as risk-based measure assessment and sensitivity analysis. Permitted aids are a non-programmable pocket calculator. Formulas required for the calculation will be handed out with the exam information.

Recommended literature

The documents and resources listed below are some examples for your interest: - Merz, B., J. Hall, M. Disse, and A. Schumann. “Fluvial Flood Risk Management in a Changing World.” Natural Hazards and Earth System Science 10, no. 3 (March 16, 2010): 509–527. doi:10.5194/nhess-10-509-2010. - Rogger, M., Kohl, B., Pirkl, H., Viglione, A., Komma, J., Kirnbauer, R., Merz, R., Blöschl, G., 2012. Runoff models and flood frequency statistics for design flood estimation in Austria – Do they tell a consistent story? J. Hydrol. 456–457, 30–43.^ - Bründl, M., Romang, H.E., Bischof, N., Rheinberger, C.M., 2009. The risk concept and its application in natural hazard risk management in Switzerland. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 9, 801–813. - Pianosi, F., Wagener, T., Rougier, J., Freer, J., Hall, J., 2014. Sensitivity Analysis of Environmental Models: A Systematic Review with Practical Workflow, in: Vulnerability, Uncertainty, and Risk. American Society of Civil Engineers, pp. 290–299.