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Efficient uncertainty quantification for impact analysis of human interventions in rivers

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Published on 14/06/2018 by Berends, K.D., Warminka, J.J., Hulscher, S.J.M.H.

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Koen Berends


Output contains: Dataset access Model or tool upon request

Innovative components

  • Novel method to estimate uncertainty of the impact of human intervention in rivers.
  • Good agreement with classical Monte Carlo simulation at lower computational cost.
  • Efficiency increases if more interventions are evaluated.
  • Accuracy of uncertainty estimation is explicitly quantified.
  • Method applied to idealised human intervention designed to lower flood risk.

Implications to practice

To analyse the expected impact of a river intervention, decision-makers rely on computations with complex physics-based hydraulic models. The outcome of these models is sensitive to uncertain input parameters, but long model runtimes are infeasible with standard computer resources. A new method was demonstrated on an ideal 1D situation for river interventions that aim at lowering water levels. The application to more complex modelling approches (2D and morphological) will be studied in future work.

Comparing the effect of two different interventions — dike relocation and removal of high-friction vegetation — along the river. The effect of the intervention is propagated upstream through the backwater effect. (Source: Berends et al. 2018;

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Dataset access

The method described in this paper  including test data for the cases described is available for download at
A new implementation of the tool including example data is available from:

Related outputs

Uncertainty quantification of flood mitigation predictions and implications for decision making

Using a new approach, we have now quantified the uncertainty of twelve interventions along the River Waal. We demonstrate that the choice between interventions can be different when uncertainty is taken into account.

14/11/2018 by Koen Berends et al.

Contains: Dataset access

Last modified: 30/01/2019