Project Summary

Projected increases in the frequency of wet winters pose challenges for the future management of infrastructure built under historic climate conditions. We evaluate the risk of downstream compound flooding at the Anderson Dam due to multivariate hazards: extreme and sequential rainfall and hazardous ground shaking driving subsequent dam failure. In a collaborative effort with local city and emergency managers, our research works towards developing management alternatives that can be directly integrated as recommendations into operation plans.

This project develops a framework for evaluating the risk of flooding by merging probabilities of rainfall events with probabilities of earthquake-driven ground shaking at the Anderson Dam. Stochastic simulation of variables such as precipitation are used to model reservoir levels to evaluate the potential of flooding from future rainfall events. The subsequent nature of extreme rainfall events are merged with rules of dam operation to understand how management plans affect the risk to flooding. The probabilities of both earthquake-driven dam failure and climate-induced overspill are evaluated to generate the probability of failure from multiple hazards. This research provides insight into the range of compounding conditions that drive flooding, as well as performance metrics for weighing flood risk under future climate conditions.


Katy Serafin

Jenny Suckale

Jack Baker


Santa Clara Valley Water District

City of San Jose

Future Bay Initiative

Bill Lane Center for the American West