Flood risk mapping

Example of a flood risk map
Example of an inundation map


Flood hazard maps

Hazard mapping is a process or activity which aims to establish geographically where and to what extent particular phenomena are likely to pose a threat to people, property, infrastructure, and economic activities. Hazard mapping represents the output of hazard analysis on a map.

Hazard maps show the extent of flood prone areas considering hydrodynamic impacts on buildings, infrastructure and environment and considering the variability of magnitudes of the expected events. Different zones are designated classifying the intensity of danger related to the probability of occurrences.

Flood risk maps

Flood risk maps visualise the results of risk assessment on a map, showing the levels of expected losses which can be anticipated in specific areas, during a particular time period, as a result of a particular flood event describes the process or activity of flood risk mapping.

In contrast to hazard maps, risk maps do not only show where and what kind of damage may occur but they do also quantify economic losses considering the exposure and vulnerability of material values. Risk maps do either show a classification of losses, mostly directly expressed as a monetary value, or they show different zones of risk - as a product from hazard, exposure and vulnerability.

Inundation maps

Inundation maps  are maps that present the water level and area prone to flooding. In some European countries it is connected with a given return period. As for instance; 10 years floods, 50 years floods, 100 years floods etc.


In Europe exists no unique method for risk mapping at present. Some approaches determine risk based on water depths or combination of velocity and return periods.

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