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Conceptual method for rapid diagnosis of the failure behaviour of Flemish dikes

In order to cost-effectively protect the population against floods, the government uses cost-benefit analyses when considering any infrastructure interventions that might be carried out. For this purpose, the costs (for construction and maintenance) and benefits (avoiding damage and casualties) have to be analysed. In determining the damage and casualties (preparation of flood maps, determination of the rates at which water levels rise), consideration should be given to overflow over the dykes (water level above the crest level of the dyke), to wave overtopping and breach formation initiated by the geotechnical failure of the flood defence dyke.

The Flemish government launched a study which aimed to analyse the geotechnical failure of dykes, after which a methodology adapted to the Flemish situation would be established that would allow the Flemish dykes to be assessed, and which would be applied in damage and risk calculations.