Impact of rainfall data resolution in time and space on the urban flooding evaluation

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Climate change and modification of the urban environment increase the frequency and the negative effects of flooding, increasing the interest of researchers and practitioners in this topic. Usually, flood frequency analysis in urban areas is indirectly carried out by adopting advanced hydraulic models to simulate long historical rainfall series or design storms. However, their results are affected by a level of uncertainty which has been extensively investigated in recent years. A major source of uncertainty inherent to hydraulic model results is linked to the imperfect knowledge of the rainfall input data both in time and space. Several studies show that hydrological modelling in urban areas requires rainfall data with fine resolution in time and space. The present paper analyses the effect of rainfall knowledge on urban flood modelling results. A mathematical model of urban flooding propagation was applied to a real case study and the maximum efficiency conditions for the model and the uncertainty affecting the results were evaluated by means of generalised likelihood uncertainty estimation (GLUE) analysis. The added value provided by the adoption of finer temporal and spatial resolution of the rainfall was assessed.

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