Fathom’s research

Research papers

Our research has been critically tested and refined through academic peer-review over the past 15 years and published in world-leading scientific journals.

Our key research advances, 1992-2023

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Modelling floodplain flows using a two-dimensional finite element model

Professor Paul Bates’ first paper describing a 2D flood model.

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A simple raster-based model for flood inundation simulation

Seminal paper describing the first grid-based flood model.

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Reach scale floodplain inundation dynamics observed using airborne synthetic aperture radar imagery: Data analysis and modelling

First description of remotely-sensed imagery in model validation.

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A simple inertial formulation of the shallow water equations for efficient two-dimensional flood inundation modelling

Hugely influential paper describing new formulation of shallow water equations.

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A subgrid channel model for simulating river hydraulics and floodplain inundation over large and data sparse areas

Presentation of sub-grid hydraulic model structures.

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A high-resolution global flood hazard model

First description of a high-resolution global flood model.

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Validation of a 30 m resolution flood hazard model of the conterminous United States

First validation of a large-scale flood model.

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Estimates of present and future flood risk in the conterminous United States

Presentation of current and future flood risk in the US.

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The Spatial Dependence of Flood Hazard and Risk in the United States

Methodology for Fathom-US CAT model.

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Combined Modeling of US Fluvial, Pluvial, and Coastal Flood Hazard Under Current and Future Climates

Validation of the methodologies underpinning Fathom-US 2.0

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A 30m global map of elevation with forests and buildings removed

Influential paper exploring the development of FABDEM – our global digital elevation model

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A new climate-conditioned catastrophe flood model for the UK

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01 1992

Modelling floodplain flows using a two-dimensional finite element model

Professor Paul Bates’ first paper describing a 2D flood model.

Read paper
02 2000

A simple raster-based model for flood inundation simulation

Seminal paper describing the first grid-based flood model.

Read paper
03 2006

Reach scale floodplain inundation dynamics observed using airborne synthetic aperture radar imagery: Data analysis and modelling

First description of remotely-sensed imagery in model validation.

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04 2010

A simple inertial formulation of the shallow water equations for efficient two-dimensional flood inundation modelling

Hugely influential paper describing new formulation of shallow water equations.

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05 2012

A subgrid channel model for simulating river hydraulics and floodplain inundation over large and data sparse areas

Presentation of sub-grid hydraulic model structures.

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06 2015

A high-resolution global flood hazard model

First description of a high-resolution global flood model.

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07 2017

Validation of a 30 m resolution flood hazard model of the conterminous United States

First validation of a large-scale flood model.

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08 2018

Estimates of present and future flood risk in the conterminous United States

Presentation of current and future flood risk in the US.

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09 2019

The Spatial Dependence of Flood Hazard and Risk in the United States

Methodology for Fathom-US CAT model.

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10 2021

Combined Modeling of US Fluvial, Pluvial, and Coastal Flood Hazard Under Current and Future Climates

Validation of the methodologies underpinning Fathom-US 2.0

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11 2022

A 30m global map of elevation with forests and buildings removed

Influential paper exploring the development of FABDEM – our global digital elevation model

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12 NEW 2023

A new climate-conditioned catastrophe flood model for the UK

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Filters

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New Research paper

The credibility challenge for global fluvial flood risk analysis

  • Trigg, M.,
  • Birch, C.,
  • Neal, J.,
  • Bates, P.,
  • Smith, A.,
  • Sampson, C.,
  • Yamazaki, D.,
  • Hirabayashi, Y.,
  • Pappenberger, F.,
  • Dutra, E.,
  • Simpson, A.,
  • Dottori, F.,
  • Hadzilacos, G.,
  • Winsemius, H.,
  • Kappes, M.,
  • Salamon, P.,
  • Ward, P.,
  • Rudari, R.,
  • Fewtrell, T.

A collaborative paper that highlights the challenges posed by developing and refining the first generation of global flood hazard models.

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Research paper

A high-resolution global flood hazard model

This paper describes the architecture of our Global Flood Model and validating its performance against local data.

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Research paper

Regional flood frequency analysis at the global scale

This paper describes our method for estimating extreme river flows anywhere on Earth.

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Research 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.

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Research 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.

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Research 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.

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Research 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).

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Research 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.

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Research 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).

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Research 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.

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Research 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.

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Research 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.