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ONE Planet DTP - Improving flood risk management in small or flashy catchments under climate change (OP20239)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Understanding the impact of climate change on high flows is important for making sound land use planning and flood risk management decisions. In 2015-17, 80(65)% of planning consultations in SW Scotland were for catchments < 25(5)km2 yet most studies only consider climate change impacts on flood flows in larger catchments (e.g. Kay et al. 2014: DOI: 10.1007/s10113-013-0563-y). That small catchments may respond differently to climate change due to greater influence of event rainfall rather than antecedent conditions (Wasko and Sharma 2017: DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-08481-1) is reflected in UK guidance, advising use of event rainfall rather than flow uplifts for flood risk assessment in small catchments (SEPA 2019: http://www.sepa.org.uk/media/426913/lups_cc1.pdf). Land use impacts on flood peaks may also be more important (Dadson et al. 2017: DOI:10.1098/rspa.2016.0706). But current guidance focusses on changes in peak flow only without considering changes to rainfall characteristics (intensity, duration) that may affect flood seasonality and the potential for rapid-onset floods to reduce flood warning effectiveness and emergency response.

This project will work closely with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to use outputs from the UKCP18 Local high-resolution projections to investigate the impacts of climate change on flood risk in small and flashy catchments, using a range of continuous simulation and event-based hydrological models. Ultimately the project will aim to:
- Develop appropriate techniques and guidance for considering impact of climate change on flood risk for small catchments for use in flood risk assessments.
- Identify catchments where the impacts of climate change on flood risk may be greater than if only changes in peak flow is considered as the response

Skills which would be developed as part of the training for this project include: Analysis and use of climate model data including downscaling and bias correction methods; Flood frequency analysis/Extreme Value Analysis; Rainfall runoff modelling; FEH methods.

Funding Notes

This project is part of the ONE Planet DTP. Find out more here: View Website

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