Fathom, a global leader in water risk intelligence, has released a new US Flood Map; a cutting-edge tool that provides the most comprehensive climate-driven flood risk information for the United States.
Responding to the inconsistent and incomplete coverage of existing datasets, the US Flood Map leverages the latest observation, terrain and climate information to present a consistent view of flood risk for all major flood perils, climate scenarios and time horizons. With this comprehensive product, stakeholders have access to detailed and scientifically-validated flood risk information for the present day and in the future. Thanks to its team of scientists, Fathom’s US Flood Map offers the most advanced hazard and risk information for the country, at 10m resolution.
The United States has experienced a significant increase in the severity, frequency and unpredictability of extreme weather events, due to factors such as climate change, natural variability, population growth and urban development. The impact of these catastrophes are immense and, if not mitigated sufficiently, will continue to drive financial loss and put human life at risk. Emerging technology now means that we have more information than ever before to effectively manage exposure to flood risk in the US, and prevent unorganized development in high-risk areas.
Notable features of the US Flood Map include:
- Comprehensive coverage: Fathom’s US Flood Map is the first to cover every river, stream and coastline in the country, providing an unprecedented level of detail and accuracy.
- Unrivaled terrain data: the most accurate US terrain data in existence, thanks to an increase in LiDAR data collected since 2020. Lower quality elements of the publicly available data are supplemented by Fathom’s bias-free global ground terrain map, FABDEM+.
- Unparalleled representation: With FEMA’s coverage limited to major (approximately 60% of) river channels and prioritizing densely populated urban areas, Fathom’s US Flood Map offers a consistent and unified view of flood risk across the entire country and 100% of river channels.
- Climate conditioned: By integrating Fathom’s Climate Dynamics framework into the US Flood Map, Fathom is the only firm able to demonstrate the impact of climate change on flood risk under all emissions scenarios, temperature changes and time horizons up to the year 2100.
- Updated methodology: A revised methodology provides the most complete flood defense dataset.
- Dam simulation: Using a machine learning model trained on all available observations, Fathom has, for the first time, estimated the influence of all 84,000 dams on extreme flows nationwide. In addition, by applying detailed land use and building data to varying surface parameters, the new US Flood Map explicitly simulates how land use impacts the flow of water across the entire country; an unrivaled feature.
- Risk Scores: Distilling complex depth-frequency data into an easily digestible and consistent metric of how flood risk varies from one location to another.
- The next evolution of modeling: Previous versions of Fathom’s independently and collaboratively created US Flood Maps, such as Fathom-US 2.0 are no longer being updated and therefore rely on outdated information. The new US Flood Map harnesses the latest intelligence, with all model components that use observational data updated to 2022, for an up-to-date view of risk.
Dr Christopher Sampson, Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder, Fathom, said:
“By leveraging advanced technology and state-of-the-art data, stakeholders can make informed decisions to manage and mitigate financial losses and protect human lives. Transparency is key to our ethos and we are proud to highlight data uncertainty, while also publishing our methodologies in peer-reviewed journals to expose our methods to scrutiny and support scientific advancement in flood risk intelligence. We remain committed to pushing the boundaries of water risk data, to ensure a safer and more resilient future for communities across the United States.”