Hydraulic Hazard

Andrea Defina – andrea.defina@unipd.it
Stefano Lanzoni – stefano.lanzoni@unipd.it
Luca Carniello – luca.carniello@unipd.it
Daniele Pietro Viero – daniele.viero@unipd.it
Elena Crestani – elena.crestani@dicea.unipd.it
Riccardo Alvise Mel – riccardo.mel@dicea.unipd.it
Giulia Passadore – giulia.passadore@dicea.unipd.it

Research areas:

The research activity of the group focuses on the formation and propagation of flood waves, with particular attention to lowland rivers. The topic is tackled by means of mathematical models that are continuously improved and updated to ensure reliable and robust forecasting. These types of problems are extremely relevant in an era of non-negligible climate changes and increasing human pressures. The results of the numerical simulations are used to evaluate the hydraulic risk associated with bank overflow or bank collapse, using suitable approaches, in relation to the extent of the potentially flooded areas, the flood intensity, the presence and density of road and railway infrastructures, embankments, drainage channels and soil use (e.g., urban or rural).
Flood propagation dynamics is also treated with reference to erosion and deposition processes that usually occur in natural rivers, affecting the stability of channel banks, in-channel infrastructures (e.g., bridge piers), often leading to the formation of sediment deposits (e.g., near river confluences) potentially concurring in reducing dramatically the water conveyance. Particular attention is also devoted to the dynamics of debris flows that usually form in the upper portions of mountain rivers and, owing to their impulsive character and rapid propagation, are difficult to forecast and encompass a high destructive potential.
The two-dimensional and three-dimensional models developed by the research group are also used to simulate the fate and transport of pollutant in free surface water bodies, as well as the saline intrusion that takes place in the seaward portion of many rivers during dry periods, affecting significantly the water use. The simulated data provide fundamental information for an informed design of suitable countermeasures and in evaluating their efficiency.

Keywords: Flood risk, transport of pollutants in surface water, debris flow, flood forecasting