If the seawalls at The Hague and Ter Heijde are breached and the fast-flowing seawater floods the polder land behind the dikes, there will be more than 4,000 casualties, according to a new calculation method devised by TU Delft PhD candidate Bas Jonkman.
Jonkman's method also reveals that evacuating this area would only save at most 600 lives. "It's possible to predict a North Sea storm a day or two in advance," Jonkman says. 'But before an evacuation could begin, the government would deliberate and everyone would have to be warned. Then, people would pack up their belongings. All this would cost a lot of time."
However, in the less densely populated polder lands along the rivers, if people were warned well enough in advance of an impending flood, Jonkman's model predicts that an evacuation would indeed save many lives. For the densely populated polders bordering the coastline, Jonkman says it would be more effective for example to build stronger and higher dikes, as this would reduce the likelihood of a flood.
Until now, various rules of thumb have been used to estimate the number of possible casualties resulting from a flood. Jonkman's model for estimating casualties is more precise. It consists of various parts, including a model that simulates an evacuation and thereby determines how many people would still be in the area if the dike were breached. Determining how many of these people would survive is dependent on how fast the water flows, how fast the water rises and how deep the water is. To make such predictions, Jonkman uses a model that was developed by TU Delft and the research institute WL Delft Hydraulics. Jonkman combined the models to simulate the evacuation and the course of the flood.
The majority of Jonkman's doctoral research was devoted to devising the so-called 'victim functions'. 'If the water is four meters deep, then 20 percent of the people in that area would not survive', is an example of how this function works. For the victim functions, Jonkman based his data on the calamitous flood in the Netherlands in 1953 and other such disasters. To determine if his model's findings were realistic, Jonkman also processed data from the floods caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, when the dikes protecting New Orleans were breached. Jonkman's model calculated 2,000 victims for that disaster – a figure that Jonkman is pleased with: "This is of the same order of magnitude as the 1,100 bodies that have actually been recovered so far."
An in-depth article about this research subject has been published in the latest edition of Delft Integraal / Delft Outlook, the independent science magazine of TU Delft. (www.delftintegraal.tudelft.nl –Dutch-).
Roy Meijer | alfa
Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Smart Manual Workstations Deliver More Flexible Production
04.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy