How flood return periods and population affect flood exposure estimates

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How flood return periods and population affect flood exposure estimates

“Flood exposure in the Democratic Republic of Congo”

Demonstrate you understood the course material and estimate flood exposure for the DRC
Use GIS to calculate flood exposure for different territories in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In your report, you must present flood exposure estimates for two (or more) of the flood return periods. (there are four in total to choose from).  You must also show for one (or more) of the flood return periods the difference in flood exposure estimates using different population datasets.

GEOGM0013 Assignment 2: Mini research project
Assignment Title “Flood exposure in the Democratic Republic of Congo”
Aims and Objectives
For this assignment you will need to undertake a mini research project that calculates flood exposure for different territories in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Also, investigates how different flood return periods and population datasets affect these flood exposure estimates.


Flood exposure describes the assets and people that are exposed to the flood hazard. Is therefore crucial in land-use planning, insurance and disaster management sectors.  In the practical you will use output from a global flood model and high-resolution population datasets to calculate flood exposure estimates for different territories in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  DRC has been affected by severe flooding recently. (see Hence understanding the territories most exposed to flooding is critical to inform how best to allocate resources.

Policy makers (such as the World Bank) need this information for different flood return periods (i.e. different magnitudes of flood events) as flood exposure may change for different flood events.  Some territories may be minimally impacted for a relatively small flood event (such as a 1 in 5 year flood event) and heavily impacted for a large flood event, whereas others may see little change or increase in their flood exposure for different events.

How flood return periods and population affect flood exposure estimates

Policy makers also need to be aware of the uncertainties and limitations in calculating flood exposure.  One of the key sources of flood exposure uncertainty in data scarce regions, is knowing where people live.  Different population datasets can result in large differences in the estimates of the number of people exposed (as found by Smith et al, 2019).
For your assignment, you will need to investigate how different flood return periods and population datasets affect flood exposure estimates for territories in the DRC as the basis of a scientific report for policy makers.  To convert the datasets into useful outputs for policy makers, you will need to use QGIS to read, analyse and process the model output.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this assignment you should:
1. Firstly, be able to use GIS to analyse large data sets from an environmental numerical model.
2. Secondly, have gained experience of working on a mini research project and acquired transferable skills that will be relevant to your dissertation research project.  3. Thirdly, develop skills to synthesise and communicate scientific information in an effective and appropriate manner.  4. Lastly, have a basic understanding of flood exposure and the uncertainties that impact flood exposure estimates.


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