Network analysis and characterization of vulnerability in flood control infrastructure for system-level risk reduction
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Network analysis and characterization of vulnerability in flood control infrastructure for system-level risk reduction

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  • Journal Title:
    Computers, Environment and Urban Systems
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    The number of catastrophic events such as extreme rainfalls and hurricanes has been growing. These events pose a major threat to the life safety and economic prosperity of urban regions. Flood control networks play a pivotal role in mitigating the risk associated with the stormwater generated by extreme rainfalls and hurricanes. The objective of this study is to propose a framework to examine the vulnerability in flood control infrastructure networks. This framework applies graph theory concepts and tools to define a vulnerability index for flood control network components (e.g., channels and rivers). The topological attributes of flood control networks are used to determine the vulnerability index based on structural attributes of flood control networks. First, a flood control network is modeled as a directed graph and storage facilities are incorporated into the network. Second, co-location exposure, upstream channel susceptibility, and discharge redundancy are characterized as important vulnerability attributes of a channel in flood control network. Then, these three characteristics are formulized based on the topological attributes of the network and characteristics of channels. The vulnerability index is then determined based on the three vulnerability characteristics. The proposed vulnerability index can be used to evaluate the impact of different risk reduction policies on flood control network vulnerability and determine the optimal mitigation strategies aiming at flood risk reduction, such as widening vulnerable channels, placement of storage facilities in the network or increasing the redundancy of the network. The framework is implemented on two watersheds in Harris County (Texas, USA) and the results' implications for decision-making in infrastructure management and hazard mitigation planning are discussed. The results highlight the capability of the proposed graph-based framework to inform flood risk reduction through evaluation of the vulnerability of infrastructure networks.
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    Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 89, 101663
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    Accepted Manuscript
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