Flood hazard assessment of Atrato river in Colombia

Document Type



The flood hazard caused by Atrato River in Quibdó, northwest of Colombia is assessed using statistical modeling techniques (Gumbel and GRADEX), hydraulic modeling with HEC-RAS and the Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Three flood hazard maps for return periods of 10, 20 and 50 years are generated. The flood hazard modeling reveals that the flooded zone is more significant out of the left (West) bank than out of the right (East) bank of Atrato River. For the three return periods the maximum depth of water reached by the river and extent of flooding are estimated. Sensitivity analysis on roughness coefficient and peak discharge is performed. For 50 year return period (Q =3054 m3/s), water depth on the left and right bank of Atrato River is 3.7 m and 3.1 m, respectively. This information is useful in defining the minimum height of flood protection structures such as dikes to protect the area from flooding. The results can be useful for evacuation planning, estimation of damages and post flood recovery efforts.


Colombia – Atrato River; Colombia – Quibdó; Computer simulation; Flood damage prevention; Flood forecasting; Flood hazard; Flood map; Flood modeling; GIS; GRADEX; Gumbel


Environmental Engineering | Environmental Sciences | Fresh Water Studies


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