Consequences of dike breaches and dike overflow in a bifurcating river system

Anouk Bomers*, Ralph M.J. Schielen, Suzanne J.M.H. Hulscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
112 Downloads (Pure)


Currently, the effect of dike breaches on downstream discharge partitioning and flood risk is not addressed in flood safety assessments. In a bifurcating river system, a dike breach may cause overland flows which can change downstream flood risk and discharge partitioning. This study examines how dike breaches and overflow affect overland flow patterns and discharges of the rivers of the Rhine delta. For extreme discharges, an increase in flood risk along the river branch with the smallest discharge capacity was found, while flood risk along the other river branches was reduced. Therefore, dike breaches and resulting overland flow patterns must be included in flood safety assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-334
Number of pages26
JournalNatural hazards
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Dike breaches
  • Flood risk
  • Hydraulic flood modelling
  • Overland flow
  • Discharge partitioning


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