Structural Measures For Flood Risk Mitigation

Institution: DICAR (UNIPV)

Major: HYRIS

Term: To be defined

Instructor: Paolo Ghilardi (

CFU: 6


Duration: available here

Schedule: available here

Office hours: by appointment



This course describes, analyses and compares practical solutions for flood risk mitigation, e.g., levees, reservoirs, tools for river bank protection and for control of local scour, devices for river training.

Design techniques and selection criteria of risk mitigation measures are discussed throughout this course.


Structural measures for bank protection and stabilization. Bank revetments. Bank slope and bed slope effect on grain stability. Riprap design: grain size distribution, main geometrical details. Revetment with gabions. Granular filters and geotextiles. Vegetative methods: basic concepts.

Flow changing devices: spurs, groynes. Flow and scour patterns near groynes. Role of spur permeability and submersion.

Levees: hydraulic design and management. Levee seepage: basic equations; approximate solutions; numerical modelling: basic concepts, role of discretization and boundary conditions. piping; mechanisms and hydraulic conditions for internal erosion; design strategies for piping prevention; breach formation due to overtopping or piping.

Scour protection at bridges and other structures. Scour mechanics: total scour and components (general, contraction, local); live bed scour and clear water scour; estimation of scour depth and extension. Design of riprap for bed protections at bridge piers. Hints on other scour prevention methods. Scour at drop structures.

Flow through bridges: energy and momentum equations. Hydrodynamic forces and impact forces on bridge piers and decks.

Design of detention basins: basic schemes of inline or offline basins, examples of control structures, selection of design flood wave, storage volume estimation. Culvert hydraulics: inlet and outlet control, overtopping flow, overall performance curves.

Physical modelling for flood mitigation structures: different approaches to model design, similitude criteria, main characteristic numbers; scale ratios and distortion.



Basic knowledge of fluvial hydraulics and geomorphology .



  • Course notes, scientific papers and other material will be provided during the course and available for download.



Assignments will be handed over during the course and will be discussed and graded during the final oral test.