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1 Causes of Floods

1.1 Severe winds over water

1.2 Unusual high tides

2 Effects of Floods
2.1 Benefits of Flooding

3 Protection and Control of Floods


3.1 Methods of Detection

3.2 Methods of Controlling Floods

3.2.1 Dams

3.2.2 Diversion Canals

3.2.3 Self-closing Flood Barrier

3.2.4 River Defenses

3.2.5 Coastal Defences

3.2.6 Temporary Perimeter Barriers

3.2.7 Alter the Rivers Channel

3.2.8 Control Land Use

4 Design of Flood Control Structures

5 Flood clean-up safety

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Flood control refers to all methods used to reduce or prevent the
detrimental effects of flood waters. Some of the common techniques used
for flood control are installation of rock berms, rock rip-raps, sandbags,
maintaining normal slopes with vegetation or application of soil cements on
steeper slopes and construction or expansion of drainage channels. Other
methods include levees, dikes, dams, and retention or detention basins.
Some areas prefer not to have levees as flood controls. Communities
preferred improvement of drainage structures with detention basins near the

Flood relief refers to methods used to reduce the effects of flood waters or
high water levels.

Causes of Floods
Floods are caused by many factors: heavy rainfall, highly
accelerated snowmelt, severe winds over water, unusual high
tides, tsunamis, or failure of dams, levees, retention ponds, or other
structures that retained the water. Flooding can be exacerbated by increased
amounts of impervious surface or by other natural hazards such as wildfires,
which reduce the supply of vegetation that can absorb rainfall.
Periodic floods occur on many rivers, forming a surrounding region known as
the flood plain.
During times of rain, some of the water is retained in ponds or soil, some is
absorbed by grass and vegetation, some evaporates, and the rest travels
over the land as surface runoff. Floods occur when ponds, lakes, riverbeds,
soil, and vegetation cannot absorb all the water. Water then runs off the land
in quantities that cannot be carried within stream channels or retained in
natural ponds, lakes, and man-made reservoirs. About 30 percent of all
precipitation becomes runoff and that amount might be increased by water
from melting snow. River flooding is often caused by heavy rain, sometimes
increased by melting snow. A flood that rises rapidly, with little or no
warning, is called a flash flood. Flash floods usually result from intense
rainfall over a relatively small area, or if the area was already saturated from
previous precipitation.
Severe winds over water


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Even when rainfall is relatively light, the [shoreline]s of lakes and bays can
be flooded by severe windssuch as during hurricanesthat blow water into
the shore areas.
Unusual high tides
Coastal areas are sometimes flooded by unusually high tides, such as spring
tides, especially when compounded by high winds and storm surges.

Effects of Floods
Flooding has many impacts. It damages property and endangers the lives of
humans and other species. Rapid water runoff causes soil erosion and
concomitant sediment deposition elsewhere (such as further downstream or
down a coast). The spawning grounds for fish and other wildlife habitats can
become polluted or completely destroyed.

Some prolonged high floods can delay traffic in areas which lack elevated
roadways. Floods can interfere with drainage and economical use of lands,
such as interfering with farming. Structural damage can occur in bridge
abutments, bank lines, sewer lines, and other structures within floodways.
Waterway navigation and hydroelectric power are often impaired. Financial
losses due to floods are typically millions of dollars each year, with the worst
floods in recent U.S. history having cost billions of dollars
Benefits of flooding
There are many disruptive effects of flooding on human settlements and
economic activities. However, flooding can bring benefits, such as making
soil more fertile and providing nutrients in which it is deficient. Periodic
flooding was essential to the well-being of ancient communities along
the Tigris-Euphrates Rivers, the Nile River, the Indus River, the Ganges and
the Yellow River, among others. The viability for hydrologically based
renewable sources of energy is higher in flood-prone regions.

Protection and control of floods

Wetlands function as natural sponges that trap and slowly release surface
water, rain, snowmelt, groundwater and flood waters. Trees, root mats, and
other wetland vegetation also slow the speeds of flood waters and distribute
them more slowly over the floodplain. This combined water storage and
braking action lowers flood heights and reduces erosion. Wetlands within and
downstream of urban areas are particularly valuable, counteracting the

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greatly increased rate and volume of surface- water runoff from pavement
and buildings. The holding capacity of wetlands helps control floods and
prevents water logging of crops. Preserving and restoring wetlands, together
with other water retention, can often provide the level of flood control
otherwise provided by expensive dredge operations and levees. The
bottomland hardwood- riparian wetlands along the Mississippi River once
stored at least 60 days of floodwater. Now they store only 12 days because
most have been filled or drained.
Some methods of flood control have been practiced since ancient times.
These methods include planting vegetation to retain extra
water, terracing hillsides to slow flow downhill, and the construction of flood
ways (man-made channels to divert floodwater). Other techniques include
the construction of levees, lakes, dams, reservoirs, retention ponds to hold
extra water during times of flooding.

Methods of detection
This is the method used for remote sensing the disasters. Detection of
disasters such as floods, Earthquakes, Explosions are quite complex in
previous days and range of detection is inappropriate. But it came to
possibilities by using Multi temporal visualization of Synthetic Aperture Radar
(SAR)images. But to obtain the good SAR images perfect spatial registration
and very precise calibration are necessary to specify changes that have
occurred. Calibration of SAR is very complex and also a sensitive problem.
Possibly errors may occur after calibration that involves data fusion and
visualization process. Traditional image pre-processing cannot be used here
due to the on-Gaussian of radar back scattering, but a processing method
called cross calibration/normalization is used to solve this problem. The
application generates a single disaster image called fast-ready disaster
map from multitemporal SAR images. These maps are generated without
user interaction and helps in providing immediate first aid to the people. This
process also provides image enhancement and comparison between
numerous images using data fusion and visualization process. This proposed
processing includes filtering, histogram truncation and equalization steps.
The process also helps in identifying the permanent waters and other classes
by combined composition of pre-disaster and post-disaster images into a
color image for better identity.[2]
Methods of Controlling Floods

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Many dams and their associated reservoirs are designed completely or partially to
aid in flood protection and control.

Many large dams have flood-control reservations in which the level of a reservoir
must be kept below a certain elevation before the onset of the rainy/summer melt
season to allow a certain amount of space in which floodwaters can fill.

The term dry dam refers to a dam that serves purely for flood control without any
conservation storage (e.g. Mount Morris Dam, Seven Oaks Dam). Here in the
Philippines we have a total of 21 Dams namely:

1. Ambuklao Dam


Agusan Dam
Angat Dam
Aragon Dam
Binga Dam
Buhisan Dam
Bustos Dam


8. Caliraya Dam
9. Calumpang Dam
Casecnan Dam
Ipo Dam
La Mesa Dam
Laiban Dam
Lake Lanao

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Lumut Dam
Magat Dam
Molino (Prinza)
Pulangi Dam
San Roque Dam
Wawa Dam

Diversion canals (Flood control channel)

Floods can be controlled by redirecting excess water to purpose-built canals

or floodways, which in turn divert the water to temporary holding ponds or
other bodies of water where there is a lower risk or impact to flooding.
Examples of flood control channels include the Red River Floodway that
protects the City of Winnipeg (Canada) and the Manggahan Floodway that
protects the City of Manila (Philippines).

Self-closing Flood Barrier

The self-closing flood barrier (SCFB) is a flood defense system designed to

protect people and property from inland waterway floods caused by heavy
rainfall, gales or rapid melting snow. The SCFB can be built to protect
residential properties and whole communities, as well as industrial or other
strategic areas. The barrier system is constantly ready to deploy in a flood
situation, it can be installed in any length and uses the rising flood water to
deploy. Barrier systems have already been built and installed in Belgium,
Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Australia,
Russia and the United States.

River defences

In many countries, rivers are prone to floods and are often carefully
managed. Defences such as levees, bunds, reservoirs, and weirs are used to
prevent rivers from bursting their banks. When these defences fail,
emergency measures such as sandbags, hydrosacks or portable inflatable
tubes are used.
A weir, also known as a lowhead dam, is most often used to create millponds,
but on the Humber River in Toronto, a weir was built near Raymore Drive to
prevent a recurrence of the flood damage caused by Hurricane Hazel in
Coastal defences

Coastal flooding has been addressed in some parts of the Philippines with
coastal defences, such as sea walls, beach nourishment, and barrier islands.
Tide gates are used in conjunction with dykes and culverts. They can be
placed at the mouth of streams or small rivers, where an estuary begins or
where tributary streams, or drainage ditches connect to sloughs.
Tide gates close during incoming tides to prevent tidal waters from moving
upland, and open during outgoing tides to allow waters to drain out via the

culvert and into the estuary side of the dike. The opening and closing of the
gates is driven by a difference in water level on either side of the gate.
Temporary perimeter barriers

In 1988, a method of using water to control was discovered. This was

accomplished by containing 2 parallel tubes within a third outer tube. When
filled, this structure formed a non-rolling wall of water that can control 80
percent of its height in external water depth, with dry ground behind it. Eight
foot tall water filled barriers were used to surround Fort Calhoun Nuclear
Generating Station during the 2011 Missouri River Flooding.
Instead of trucking in sandbag material for a flood, stacking it, then trucking
it out to a hazmat disposal site, flood control can be accomplished by using
the onsite water. However, these are not fool proof. 8 feet (2.4 m) high 2,000
feet (610 m) long water filled rubber flood berm that surrounded portions of
the plant was punctured by a skid-steer loader and it collapsed flooding a
portion of the facility.
In 1999, a group of Norwegian Engineers founded and patented Aqua fence.
A transportable, removable, and reusable flood barrier which uses the
water's weight against itself. In 2013, Aqua Fence was awarded the highest
level USA ANSI Certification after more than one year of testing of the
system by US ARMY Corps of Engineers as well as parts testing and
production review by FM Global. Both commercial and municipal customers
spanning across The United States of America, Europe and Asia. In the US
alone, Aqua Fence removable flood panels are protecting more than $10
billion worth of real estate as well as cities and public utilities.
Alter the rivers channel

The river channel may be widened or deepened allowing it to carry more

water. A river channel may be straightened so that water can travel faster
along the course. The channel course of the river can also be altered,
diverting floodwaters away from settlements.

Control Land Use

The land use plays a central role in reducing flooding and susceptibility to
With increasing human alteration and development of the catchment area,
the runoff generation process is changed, especially through decreasing the
infiltration capacity of the soil and the change of soil cover.

This has lead to concern over the role human alterations of the catchments
play in increasing flood hazards. Hydrological responses to rainfall strongly
depend on local characteristics of soil, such as water storage capacity and
infiltration rates. The type and density of vegetation cover and land-use
characteristics are also important to understand hydrologic response to
Environmental degradation coupled with uncontrolled urban development in
high-risk zones, such as historical inundation plains and at the base of
mountain ranges, leads to an increased vulnerability of those communities
on the floodplains to catastrophic events. Saturated conditions, or conditions
quickly becoming saturated during the rainfall event, inhibit infiltration of


Flood control structures are designed to protect coastal and river-bank areas,
including urban and agricultural communities, homes, and other structures
are used to divert flows of water, by re-directing rivers, slowing natural
changes in embankments and coastlines, or preventing inundation of
vulnerable coastlines or floodplains. Dikes, spurs, levees, and seawalls often
act as the first line of defense against overflowing rivers, floods, storm
surges, andin the longer termrising seas.
By keeping water out, flood control structures lessen harm to physical
infrastructure and help to ensure continuation of communities
economic and social activity.
Given below are flood control design structures:

A dike is an embankment or levee constructed along the banks of a stream,

river, lake or other body of water for the purpose of protecting the landside
from overflowing floodwater by confining the stream flow in the regular
channel. River improvement should be planned with non-diked river if
possible to have efficient drainage conveyance.
Flood level should be considered in choosing flood control measures. If the
calculated design flood level is higher than the surrounding areas, dike has to
be planned. As the dike prevent drainage water from the inland to flow
naturally into the river; inland drainage improvement (non-dike system) is
provided to address inland flooding. The height of the dike is designed based
on the calculated design flood level, which is not fixed by the level of the
surrounding areas. But the ground height should be considered in setting the
flood level.
In most cases, non-diked river is preferable because of ease in maintenance
and safety because breaching is unlikely compared to the diked river. Dike is
sometimes difficult to implement due to land acquisition problem (right of
way). Moreover, the existence of important facilities, ports and harbors, etc.
hampers the construction/implementation of said project. In such cases,
concrete retaining wall type dike may be adopted.
Dikes generally consist of soil and sand. The advantages of using earth
materials are as follows:

Economical because of the availability of materials.

It will last for a long period of time.
It could be easily mixed with the ground materials.
It follows the ground deformation/settlement of foundation.
If the scale of flood control plan would be increased, it is easy to improve.
If the dike is damaged by flood, earthquake or other inevitable disasters, it
easy to restore.
For environmental consideration.


Function of revetment is to protect the collapse of riverbank due to

erosion, scouring and/or riverbed degradation.
Planning of Revetment
Main factor of bank erosion is river flow velocity. The external force
of erosion depends on the velocity of river flow. Therefore the
determination to provide revetment should be made depending on
the river flow velocity, embankment material, topographical,
morphological, and geological conditions of the riverbank and river
flow direction, etc., with due consideration to the appropriate type of
revetment suited to the existing site condition. On the other hand,
revetment should be so design to withstand the lateral forces in case
of high velocity flow, flow attack zone, weak geological condition of
riverbank, and poor embankment materials.

Basic Concept
Purposes of spur dike are as follows:
1) Prevent bank scouring by reducing the river flow velocity.
2) Redirect river flow away from the riverbank.
Basically, spur dikes are grouped into permeable and impermeable/semi-

permeable types, as described below:

1) Permeable Type
Spur dike of this type is made of piles and frames, preferably in series.
Its purpose is to reduce the river flow velocity at the immediate
downstream of the spur dike and induce sedimentation. In cases where
piles cannot be driven due to the presence of boulders on the riverbed,
crib frame, skeleton works or concrete block type shall be used.
2) Impermeable/semi-permeable type
This type of spur dike is made of wet masonry (impermeable) or
concrete blocks and loose boulder (semi-permeable), preferably in series.
Its purpose is to change the river flow direction away from the riverbank.


Basic Concept
The groundsill plan will determine the necessary location, the height and
form of the structure, direction, location, etc. in order to stabilize the
riverbed. Purpose of groundsill is to fix the riverbed elevation in order to
prevent riverbed degradation resulting to local scours under forces of
turbulent flow during floods.

The groundsill is classified into two types, drop structure type and sill type. It
is constructed for the following purposes to stabilize the riverbed:
1. To moderate the bed slope, decreasing the scouring force of the river
water, for stabilization of the riverbed in the upper reach (generally, with
2. To prevent turbulent flow, fixing the flow direction (mostly, with head).
3. To prevent scouring and drop of the riverbed (generally, without head).
When the riverbed is scoured by the action of floodwater, then the
foundation of revetment rises, it being dangerous for flood control and the
riverbed drops, making the intake of various irrigation water stages difficult,
in addition with other problems involved. In such cases, to maintain and
stabilize the riverbed at the designed depth necessary for the channel plan,
then the groundsill is constructed across the waterway. In view of increasing
the flow capacity of the waterway by making the section of the
waterway/channel as large as possible, the measures first to be
discussed against the bed drop is to deepen the embedment of revetment
to perform its intended function, and by providing additional foot
protection works, etc.

Basic Concept
Sluiceway is a flood control structure that connects the culvert passing
through the dikes and its gate.
Sluiceway is categorized into two (2) types according to its purpose:
One is to drain the inland water into river, and the other is to draw the water
(as an intake structure) from the river for irrigation use or some other

Sluiceway for drainage:
When the drainage area is so big, the drainage way might be considered as
a tributary. Generally in this case, the profile of the confluence should be
an open-type river channel. When the drainage area is small and the
height of dike is high, sluiceway (culvert) is planned. Of course,
sluiceway is not planned in non-diked rivers.
The gate of sluiceway is usually opened even during rainy days to drain the
inland water. When the water level of river rises and is about to flow out
through the sluiceway, then the gate should be closed.
Sluiceway for water intake:
Generally there is a dam structure (weir) at the downstream reach of
the intake sluiceway to draw water easily. During water intake, the gate
is opened. On the other hand, the gate should be closed when it is not
necessary to take water. However, when the water level of the river rises
due to flood, then the gate should be closed. Moreover, this facility also
requires a person to operate the gate always.
Necessary Water Level for intake
Sluiceways shall be carefully planned and so designed to conform to
the river improvement plan and other relevant plans to meet with the
functional and safety requirements for the dikes/levees.


Clean-up activities following floods often pose hazards to workers and

volunteers involved in the effort. Potential dangers include electrical
hazards, carbon monoxide exposure, musculoskeletal hazards, heat or cold
stress, motor vehicle-related dangers, fire, drowning, and exposure
to hazardous materials. Because flooded disaster sites are unstable, clean-up
workers might encounter sharp jagged debris, biological hazards in the flood

water, exposed electrical lines, blood or other body fluids, and animal and
human remains. In planning for and reacting to flood disasters, managers
provide workers with hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves, life jackets, and
watertight boots with steel toes and insoles.