Dorota Mirosław-Świątek , Paweł Popielski, Piotr Śliwiński, Tomasz Cwalina, Zdzisław Skutnik
River embankments are the basic and the oldest measures of protecting areas potentially subjected to flooding, and at the same time pose a serious threat to their environment in the event of damage or failure. The technical condition of the levees and its regular evaluation is a key element of their safety. A general assessment of the technical condition of a levee is the result of many interacting factors and parameters that depend on each other to a varying degree. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the cause-and-effect links between the interrelationships of numerous parameters and sensors of significant impact. In this article the decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method was applied to develop a cause-and-effect model for factors impacting the condition and safety of levees. Effective factors impacting the technical condition of a levee were identified; relationships between these factors were determined; a cause-and-effect model was developed based on identified factors; factors were categorized based on the dependence scale and influential indicators of each factors used in the DEMATEL method. The obtained results demonstrate that three following factors: hydrological factor, type and condition of soils in levee body and condition of levee areas (inter-levee and landside) play the most important role for levee safety. The results of this study can support traditional assessments of hydrotechnical structure or assist entities managing levees.