Post-Flood Field Investigations

Thailand, New Orleans and Japan

Failure of flood defences during extreme events can lead to enormous damage and loss of life, as has been demonstrated by several recent flood events. By learning the lessons from these disasters we can contribute to the prevention of these catastrophic events in the future.

Thailand (2011)

Large parts of central Thailand were severely flooded during the year 2011. The Dutch Expertise Network for Flood Protection (ENW) and TU Delft have organized a post-flood field investigation in cooperation with Thai partners. The team investigated damages due to the floods and a number of failures of dykes and structures in the Lower Chao Phraya river basin and the flood defence systems of industrial estates around Bangkok. The report can be downloaded here.

Japan and the tsunami (2011)

A team of Dutch researchers visited Japan to learn the lessons for coastal risk management of the devastating tsunami of March 2011. During a field visit coastal areas were visited that were destroyed by 10m to 15m high tsunami waves. A seminar was held in Sendai (June 7, 8) to exchange lessons and implications for managing coastal risks from storms, floods and tsunamis.

The seminar was supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The seminar report can be downloaded here.

New Orleans and hurricane Katrina (2005)

Member of the hydraulic engineering group from TU Delft have organized or been involved in several post-flood field investigations. After hurricane Katrina were asked to do a fact-gathering study by a large insurance company. The aim was an independent collection of data that were relevant to the disaster, including hydraulic loads on the system, meteorological conditions and dike breach locations and conditions. Two field investigations were performed in early 2006, within half a year after the flooding. Also, as part of research projects in the group, geotechnical levee failures, building damages and loss of life datasets were analysed. The insights in the failures of some of the levees due to piping and instability have resulted in more attention for these mechanisms in the Netherlands.

Field investigation at a dike breach in Thailand after the 2011 floods

Rikuzentakata after the March 11 tsunami disaster (by Kyoto University)