New International Publications – GFPLAIN and AFRI-NEXT: on the global impact of floods
Floods represent the costliest and deadliest natural catastrophe impacting millions of people and producing billions of damages every year. Last year estimates confirm the devastating effects of fluvial, urban and coastal floods across the world with increasing trend considering flood impact statistics of last three decades . A preliminary analysis of the potential maximum inundation intensity, frequency and extent, is fundamental for managing and mitigating its devastating impact. Global hydrodynamic models actually provide accurate flood simulations, but the uncertainty and cost of such simulations represent still a challenging, sometime prohibitive, effort for continental applications. In most cases, for large scale urban and regional planning programs, the maximum flooding extent is the key information for identifying and prioritizing flood risk mitigation measures also considering demographic, economic and climatic varying conditions. The landscape morphology – nowadays available from satellite-based surveying at high accuracy and resolution – implicitly includes the information concerning historical flood extent. An international team of scientists recently published the results of a research effort, employing this simple morphological principle, to unveil and quantify the global extent of floods. The GFPLAIN product release, the first dataset to depict the geomorphic signature of floods and the related GFPLAIN tool (available as Open Data ed Open source), were the subject of a Scientific Data publication. In may 2020 a Brief communication was also published on Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) journal with specific focus on the African continent. This research relates to the ongoing FEEM Africa Water & Citizens NEXT Generation Sustainable Economy (AFRI-NEXT) project coordinated by prof. Fernando Nardi , principal investigator of the GFPLAIN research effort, director of the WARREDOC Research Centre of Università per Stranieri di Perugia and Scientific Coordinator of the project “Water and SDGs” of the Agenda 2030 reseach area at Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.