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British Journal of Environment and Climate Change, ISSN: 2231-4784,Vol.: 5, Issue.: 2 (April-June)-Special Issue

Case Study Special Issue

Flood Risk Modeling of Urbanized Estuarine Areas under Uncertainty: A Case Study for Whitesands, UK


Manousos Valyrakis1*, Mark Solley2 and Eftychia Koursari2
1Water and Environmental Engineering, Research Division of Infrastructure and Environment, School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, UK.
2Research Assistant, MEng in Civil Engineering, University of Glasgow, UK.


Aims: The impacts of catastrophic flooding have steadily increased over the last few decades. This work investigated the effectiveness of flood modeling, with low dimensionality models along with a wealth of soft (qualitative) and hard (quantitative) data. In the presence of very low resolution or qualitative data this approach has the potential of assessing a plethora of different scenarios with little computational cost, without compromise in prediction accuracy.
Study Design: A flood risk modeling approach was implemented for the urbanized and flood prone region of Whitesands, at the Scottish town of Dumfries. This involved collection of a wide range of data: a) topographical maps and data from field visits were used to complement existing cross-sectional data, for building the river’s geometry, b) appropriate hydrological data were employed to run the simulations, while historical information about the extent, depth and impacts of flooding were utilized for calibrating the hydraulic model, and c) a wealth of photographic data obtained during the most recent December 2013 flood, were used for the model’s validation.
Place and Duration of Study: Desk study: School of Engineering, University of Glasgow; September 2013 to May 2014. Field study: Dumfries; November 2013 to January 2014.
Methodology: The HEC-RAS 1D model has been used to represent the hydraulics of the system. Flood maps were produced considering the local topography and predicted inundation depths. Flood cost and risk takes further into account the type and value of inundated property as well as the extent and depth of flooding.
Results: The model predictions (inundation depths and flood extents presented in the flood maps) were in fairly good agreement with the observed results along the studied section of the river.
Conclusion: This study presented a flood modeling approach that utilized an appropriate range of accessible data in the absence of detailed information. As the level of performance was comparable to other inundation models the results can be used for identification of flood mitigation measures and to inform best management strategies for waterways and floodplains.

Keywords :

Flood risk modeling; flood protections; Scotland; HEC-RAS; uncertainty.

Full Article - PDF    Page 147-161

DOI : 10.9734/BJECC/2015/12915

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