Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-949
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-949
13 May 2024
 | 13 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Risk of compound flooding substantially increases in the future Mekong River delta

Melissa Wood, Ivan D. Haigh, Quan Quan Le, Hung Nghia Nguyen, Hoang Tran Ba, Stephen E. Darby, Robert Marsh, Nikolaos Skliris, and Joël J.-M. Hirschi

Abstract. Floods are consistently identified as the most serious global natural hazard, causing devastating loss of life and economic damages that run into multiple billions of dollars each year. At the coastline, many flood disasters are in fact compound flood events, with two or more flood drivers occurring concurrently or in quick succession. In coastal regions the combined effect of fluvial (river) and coastal (storm-tides – storm surges plus high astronomical tides) floods together has a greater impact than if each occurred separately. Deltas in south-east Asia are particularly exposed to coastal compound floods as they are low-lying, densely populated regions subject to both intense rainfall and tropical cyclone (TC) derived storm tides. For our study we used a sophisticated 1D river model, combined with 2D storm tide levels, to analyse past/present and future compound flood hazard and exposure for the Mekong River delta, one of the most flood-vulnerable deltas in the world. We found that with compound flooding a greater area of the delta will be inundated, some parts will flood to greater flood depth. Central areas around Ang Giang and the Dong Thap provinces would be particularly impacted. In the future delta, the impact of compound flooding is potentially more significant, as compound floods inundate a greater area, to greater depth in many locations, and floods last longer too. Compound flooding therefore has clear implications for flood managers of the future delta, who will need to ensure that existing and future flood defences are to the right standard and in the right locations to offer effective protection against this future risk.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Melissa Wood, Ivan D. Haigh, Quan Quan Le, Hung Nghia Nguyen, Hoang Tran Ba, Stephen E. Darby, Robert Marsh, Nikolaos Skliris, and Joël J.-M. Hirschi

Status: open (until 24 Jun 2024)

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Melissa Wood, Ivan D. Haigh, Quan Quan Le, Hung Nghia Nguyen, Hoang Tran Ba, Stephen E. Darby, Robert Marsh, Nikolaos Skliris, and Joël J.-M. Hirschi
Melissa Wood, Ivan D. Haigh, Quan Quan Le, Hung Nghia Nguyen, Hoang Tran Ba, Stephen E. Darby, Robert Marsh, Nikolaos Skliris, and Joël J.-M. Hirschi

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Short summary
We look at how compound flooding from the combination of river flooding and storm tide (storm surge plus astronomical tide) may be changing over time due to climate change, with a case study of the Mekong River delta. We found that future compound flooding has potential to flood the region more extensively and be longer lasting than compound floods today. This is useful to know because it means that managers of deltas such as the Mekong can assess options for improving existing flood defences.