Statistics Forum: Jon Tawn

Jon Tawn

Thursday 20 February 2014, 1230-1300
A54, Postgraduate Statistics Centre Lecture Theatre

Risk assessment for widespread river flooding

Flooding is very much in the news primarily due to the combination of the size and spatial extent of the flooding. The talk will describe spatial extreme value modelling of UK river levels which can be used for both insurance and emergency planning, with the focus in the talk being primarily on the former. The available data are from a network of gauged sites with long term records but which provide only a partial coverage of the river network. What is of most interest to insurers is the distribution of the financial loss from flooding for a region (e.g. the UK) over a year. There are then three key aspects to deriving this distribution: estimating the characteristics of the spatial-temporal field at the gauged sites during an event which is extreme somewhere in the network; deriving river levels over the entire network given levels at the gauged sites; and determining the financial loss for given flood levels at all points in a river network.