Voluntary purchases and adverse selection in the market for flood insurance
Insurance is mandatory for those residing in FEMA flood zones with a federally-backed mortgage. Less understood is what motivates people to voluntarily obtain flood insurance in areas outside these zones. In a wide-ranging analysis in collaboration with Jacob Bradt (Harvard) and Carolyn Kousky (Wharton), we find voluntary insurance purchases are preferentially taking place in areas where Fathom's model deviates from FEMA flood maps. This implies that our model is correctly identifying places at risk which FEMA misses, and that people have pretty good understanding (or, at least, better than the NFIP) of their local flood risk, leading to 'adverse selection' in the programme.
Bradt, J., Kousky, C., Wing, O.Read paper
Causes, impacts and patterns of disastrous river floods
Paul Bates contributes to a significant review in Nature of the causes and impacts of disastrous river flooding, and their past and projected trends.
Merz, B., Blöschl, G., Vorogushyn, S., Dottori, F., Aerts, J., Bates, P., Bertola, M., Kemter, M., Kreibich, H., Lall, U., Macdonald, E.Read paper
An assessment of large-scale flood modelling based on LiDAR data
In this paper we collaborated with colleagues at the University of Concordia to demonstrate the value of bathymetry estimation in large scale model frameworks by testing across four watersheds in Quebec, Canada.
Choné, G., Biron, P., Buffin-Bélanger, T., Mazgareanu, I., Neal, J., Sampson, C.Read paper
Environmental Impact Bonds: a common framework and looking ahead
Environment Impact Bonds (EIBs) are in their infancy, yet are increasingly recognised as a funding solution to tackle the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Our contribution, alongside colleagues at The Nature Conservancy, discusses how recent developments to flood models at scale can help to inform both the principal and the repayment interest rate for flood mitigation projects, such as floodplain conservation.
Brand, M., Quesnel, K., Saksa, P., Ulibarri, N., Bomblies, A., Mandle, L., Allaire, M., Wing, O., Tobin-de la Puente, J., Parker E.Read paper
Attributable human-induced changes in the magnitude of flooding in the Houston, Texas region during Hurricane Harvey
Using Fathom's US flood model to examine how climate change exacerbated the impact of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Houston in 2017.
Wehner, M., Sampson, C.Read paper
Estimating River Channel Bathymetry in Large Scale Flood Inundation Models
In this technical paper, we discuss the importance of estimating channel bathymetry in data-sparse areas. We demonstrate that the application of gradually varied flow theory to estimate bathymetry in a global flood model reduced model error compared to a target water surface profile by 66%.
Neal, J., Hawker, L., Savage, J., Durand, M., Bates, P., Sampson, C.Read paper
Combined Modeling of US Fluvial, Pluvial, and Coastal Flood Hazard Under Current and Future Climates
Paper describing our most recent iteration of the US model, covering inland and coastal flooding across multiple time horizons
Bates, P., Quinn, N., Sampson, C., Smith, A., Wing, O., Sosa, J., Savage, J., Olcese, G., Neal, J., Schumann, G., Giustarini, L., Coxon, G., Porter, J., Amodeo, M., Chu, Z., Lewis-Gruss, S., Freeman, N., Houser, T., Delgado, M., Hamidi, A., Bolliger, I., McCusker, K., Emanuel, K., Ferreira, C., Khalid, A., Haigh, I., Couasnon, A., Kopp, R., Hsiang, S., Krajewski, W.Read paper
Simulating historical flood events at the continental scale: observational validation of a large-scale hydrodynamic model
This paper discusses the challenges of using observed historical flood events to validate large-scale models due to the limitations inherent in the observed data itself
Wing, O.E., Smith, A.M., Marston, M.L., Porter, J.R., Amodeo, M.F., Sampson, C.C., Bates, P.D.Read paper
Flood exposure and social vulnerability in the United States
This study explores the geography of flood exposure and social vulnerability in the conterminous United States, and finds racial minorities and mobile-home occupiers in rural Southern communities to be over-represented where exposure and social vulnerability converge.
Tate, E., Rahman, M.A., Emrich, C.T., Sampson, C.C.Read paper
Increased Flood Exposure Due to Climate Change and Population Growth in the United States
In this paper we explore projected future changes to flood exposure due to anthropogenic climate change and population growth
Swain, D.L., Wing, O.E.J., Bates, P.D., Done, J.M., Johnson, K.A., Cameron, D.R.Read paper
Toward Global Stochastic River Flood Modeling
In this paper we explore the applicability of global hydrological models to the problem of defining spatial correlation between catchments at the global scale
Wing, O., Quinn, N., Bates, P., Neal, J., Smith, A., Sampson, C., Coxon, G., Yamazaki, D., Sutanudjaja, E., Alfieri, L.Read paper
New insights into US flood vulnerability revealed from flood insurance big data
Nature Comms paper describing our work on flood vulnerability functions using >2 million NFIP claims
Wing, O., Pinter, N., Bates, P., Kousky, C. 2020Read paper
A benefit–cost analysis of floodplain land acquisition for US flood damage reduction
Working with colleagues at the Nature Conservancy, we published a Nature Sustainability paper examining the cost-benefit ratios of acquiring floodplain land relative to future damages in the US. [Due to external constraints this paper is not open access, so please contact us for a pre-print copy]
Johnson, K., Wing, O., Bates, P., Fargione, J., Kroeger, T., Larson, W., Sampson, C., Smith, A. 2019Read paper
A New Automated Method for Improved Flood Defense Representation in Large‐Scale Hydraulic Models
Paper describing our new automated method of extracting levees from high resolution terrain models
Wing, O., Bates, P., Neal, J., Sampson, C., Smith, A., Quinn, N., Shustikova, I., Domeneghetti, A., Gilles, D., Goska, R., Krajewski, W. 2019Read paper
A flood inundation forecast of Hurricane Harvey using a continental-scale 2D hydrodynamic model
A paper describing our rapid flood forecasting model, tested against Hurricane Harvey
Wing, O., Sampson, C., Bates, P., Quinn, N., Smith, A., Neal, J. 2019.Read paper
New estimates of flood exposure in developing countries using high-resolution population data
A Nature Comms publication in which we demonstrate the critical importance of having both high resolution hazard and high resolution population data when assessing at-risk populations.
Smith, A., Bates, P., Wing, O., Sampson, C., Quinn, N., Neal, J. 2019.Read paper
The spatial dependence of flood hazard and risk in the USA
A paper describing our method for simulating the spatial dependence of realistic flood events across the USA.
Quinn, N., Bates, P., Neal, J., Smith, A., Wing, O., Sampson, C., Smith, J., Heffernan, J. 2019.Read paper
Optimisation of the two-dimensional hydraulic model LISFOOD-FP for CPU architecture
Paper describing the optimisation of numerical solvers to further increase the computational efficiency of our simulations
Neal., J., Dunne, T., Sampson, C., Smith, A., Bates, P. 2018Read paper
Estimates of present and future flood risk in the conterminous United States
A collaboration with the US EPA and The Nature Conservancy to show that: a) previous estimates have significantly underestimated exposure of US population to flood risk; and b) that population and GDP growth are likely to cause this to further increase in future.
Wing, O., Bates, P., Smith, A., Sampson, C., Johnson, K., Fargione, J., Morefield, P. 2018.Read paper
Validation of a 30 m resolution flood hazard model of the conterminous United States
The first peer-reviewed validation of a continental-scale, high-resolution flood hazard model; this paper won the prestigious AGU Editors' Choice Award in 2018.
Wing, O., Bates, P., Sampson, C., Smith, A., Johnson, K., Erickson, T. 2017.Read paper
A high‐accuracy map of global terrain elevations
A significant set of systematic improvements to the SRTM terrain dataset produced by a project led by our colleague in Japan, Dai Yamazaki.
Yamazaki, D., Ikeshima, D., Tawatari, R., Yamaguchi, T., O'Loughlin, F., Neal, J., Sampson, C., Kanae, S., Bates, P. 2017.Read paper
Rethinking flood hazard at the global scale
The first continuous long-term (1973-2012) high resolution simulation of river flow and flooding at the continental scale.
Schumann, G., Stampoulis, D., Smith, A., Sampson, C., Andreadis, K., Neal, J., Bates, P. 2016.Read paper
The credibility challenge for global fluvial flood risk analysis
A collaborative paper that highlights the challenges posed by developing and refining the first generation of global flood hazard models.
Trigg, M., Birch, C., Neal, J., Bates, P., Smith, A., Sampson, C., Yamazaki, D., Hirabayashi, Y., Pappenberger, F., Dutra, E., Ward, P., Winsemius, H., Salamon, P., Dottori, F., Rudari, R., Kappes, M., Simpson, A., Hadzilacos, G., Fewtrell, T. 2016.Read paper
Regional flood frequency analysis at the global scale
The paper describing our method for estimating extreme river flows anywhere on Earth.
Smith, A., Sampson, C., Bates, P. 2015.Read paper
A high-resolution global flood hazard model
The paper describing the architecture of our Global Flood Model and validating its performance against local data.
Sampson, CC, Smith, AM, Bates, PB, Neal, JC, Alfieri, L & Freer, JE 2015.Read paper
Fight floods on a global scale
A call for action on global terrain data, published in the most prestigious scientific journal, ‘Nature’, that led to our invitation to participate in the White House Climate Data initiative under President Obama.
Schumann, G., Bates, P., Neal, J., Andreadis, K. 2014.Read paper
The impact of uncertain precipitation data on insurance loss estimates using a flood catastrophe model
A paper describing the wide variety of CAT model results produced simply be differing the input rainfall data source.
Sampson, C., Fewtrell, T., O'Loughlin, F., Pappenberger, F., Bates, P., Freer, J., Cloake, H., 2014Read paper
Investigating the application of climate models in flood projection across the UK
A paper describing the challenges and uncertainties associated with the linking of climate models to flood models to assess future flood risk.
Smith, A, Bates, P, Freer, J & Wetterhall, F 2014.Read paper
Probabilistic flood risk mapping including spatial dependence
A paper describing the characterisation and stochastic simulation of flood events on three converging rivers while considering the spatial dependence (i.e. correlation) of each river with its neighbours.
Neal, J., Keef, C., Bates, P., Beven, K., Leedal, D. 2013.Read paper
A subgrid channel model for simulating river hydraulics and floodplain inundation over large and data sparse areas
Another critical paper on the path to continental and global scale models, this time describing the representation of rivers smaller than the grid size of the model (the ‘subgrid’ method).
Neal, J., Schumann, G., Bates, P. 2012.Read paper
Benchmarking urban flood models of varying complexity and scale using high resolution terrestrial LiDAR data
A paper describing the simulation of flooding in urban areas at ultra-high resolution (50 cm).
Fewtrell, T., Duncan, A., Sampson, C., Neal, J., Bates, P. 2011.Read paper
A simple inertial formulation of the shallow water equations for efficient two dimensional flood inundation modelling
A hugely influential paper that describes a new mathematical formulation of the equations used to describe the flow of water within 2D flood models such as LISFLOOD-FP. This reduced the time required to simulate a flood event on a computer by an order of magnitude and allowed the concept of high resolution continental and global scale models to be considered for the first time. This paper led to Professor Paul Bates being awarded the ‘Science of Risk’ prize by the Lloyds insurance market in 2012.
Bates, P., Horritt, M., Fewtrell, T. 2010.Read paper
Distributed whole city water level measurements from the Carlisle 2005 urban flood event and comparison with hydraulic model simulations
A paper that presented the most comprehensive validation to-date of a simulated city-scale urban flood event using observed water level measurements.
Neal, J., Bates, P., Fewtrell, T., Hunter, N., Wilson, M., Horritt, M. 2009.Read paper
Evaluating the effect of scale in flood inundation modelling in urban environments
Around this time, 2D flood models were beginning to operate at scales applicable to urban environments. This paper offered one of the first critical analysis of key model parameters, such as grid resolution, when simulating floods in urban environments.
Fewtrell, T., Bates, P., Horritt, M., Hunter, N. 2008. Read paper
Reach scale floodplain inundation dynamics observed using airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery: data analysis and modelling
A paper describing, for the first time, the use of a time series of satellite images of a real flood event on the River Severn to assess the dynamic performance of the LISFLOOD-FP simulation of the event.
Bates, P., Wilson, M., Horritt, M., Mason, D., Holden, N., Currie, A. 2006.Read paper
Remote sensing and flood inundation modelling
An invited commentary on the value of using new forms of remotely sensed data in flood modelling.
Bates, P. 2004.Read paper
Optimal use of high-resolution topographic data in flood inundation models
A paper describing the assimilation of high resolution topography into 2D flood models.
Bates, P., Marks, K., Horritt, M. 2003.Read paper
A simple raster-based model for floodplain inundation
A seminal paper (with over 1000 citations in the academic literature) that offers the first description of a grid-based 2D flood model. This format underlies most contemporary 2D flood models, and the engine at the heart of the Fathom models has its origins in the first ‘LISFLOOD-FP’ model described in this paper.
Bates, P., De Roo, A. 2000.Read paper
Integrating remote sensing observations of flood hydrology and hydraulic modelling
An early study demonstrating the potential of remotely sensed satellite data to help with the parameterization and validation of computational flood models.
Bates, P., Horritt, M., Smith, C., Mason, D. 1997.Read paper
An initial comparison of two 2-D finite element codes for river flood simulation
Professor Paul Bates compared two different finite element techniques, laying the foundation for future two-dimensional modelling techniques.
Bates, P., Anderson, M., Hervouet, J. 1995.Read paper
Modelling floodplain flows using a two-dimensional finite element model
Professor Paul Bates’ first published paper describing a 2D computer model of an 11 km stretch of river in the UK.
Bates, P., Anderson, M., Baird, L., Walling, D., Simm, D. 1992.Read paper