Assessment of flood risk management in lowland Tokyo areas in the seventeenth century by numerical flow simulations

Tadaharu Ishikawa, Ryosuke Akoh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Numerical simulations using the shallow water model on an unstructured triangular mesh system were conducted to elucidate the hydraulic functions of the Nihon levee system, which was built in the seventeenth century to protect the city of Edo (present-day Tokyo) against flooding. Because numerical data related to the topography and hydrology of that era do not exist, simulation conditions were inferred from records from the beginning of twentieth century and recent GIS elevation data and flood records. In the simulation results, floodwaters spread over the floodplain surrounded by the levee system, and the inundation areas expanded gradually through a canal to rice paddies in the adjacent river basin. Furthermore, the rise in the water level induced by the levee system produced a steeper water surface slope in the downstream channel, causing a high-rate discharge to Tokyo Bay, where the water level was practically constant. These results suggest that the river engineering of Japan in the seventeenth century was based on a levee design technique with the aim not of restraining floodwaters with levees but of generating water head differences to divert flood flow from urban areas.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1295-1307
    Number of pages13
    JournalEnvironmental Fluid Mechanics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019


    • Early modern period
    • Historic flood control strategy
    • Levee system design
    • Shallow water model

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Chemistry
    • Water Science and Technology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of flood risk management in lowland Tokyo areas in the seventeenth century by numerical flow simulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this