Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
16 Mar 2018
 | 16 Mar 2018

HANZE: a pan-European database of exposure to natural hazards and damaging historical floods since 1870

Dominik Paprotny, Oswaldo Morales-Nápoles, and Sebastiaan N. Jonkman

Abstract. The influence of social and economic change on the consequences of natural hazards has been a matter of much interest recently. However, there is a lack of comprehensive, high-resolution data on historical changes in land use, population, or assets available to study this topic. Here, we present the Historical Analysis of Natural Hazards in Europe (HANZE) database, which contains two parts: (1) HANZE-Exposure with maps for 37 countries and territories from 1870 to 2020 in 100 m resolution and (2) HANZE-Events, a compilation of past disasters with information on dates, locations, and losses, currently limited to floods only. The database was constructed using high-resolution maps of present land use and population, a large compilation of historical statistics, and relatively simple disaggregation techniques and rule-based land use reallocation schemes. Data encompassed in HANZE allow one to "normalize" information on losses due to natural hazards by taking into account inflation as well as changes in population, production, and wealth. This database of past events currently contains 1564 records (1870–2016) of flash, river, coastal, and compound floods. The HANZE database is freely available at

Short summary
Natural hazards affect areas with various population density, economic production value and preparedness. This database will help to assess the impact of hazards in Europe in a long-term perspective. It contains data on losses, dates and location of 1564 floods from 1870–2016 in 37 countries. For the same area and timeframe, land use, population and asset value were reconstructed. Combining both data sets, one can correct the amount of losses from past events for demographic and economic growth.