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Catchment-scale High-resolution Flash Flood Simulation Using the GPU-based Technology

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Qiuhua Liang, Dr Xilin Xia, Dr Jingming Hou



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© 2016 The Authors. A number of studies have predicted more frequent and intensive storms as a result of climate change in UK and other parts of the world, which may consequently cause more hazardous flash floods in steep catchments of small to medium size (e.g. up to 100 km2). These flash floods are commonly characterized by high-velocity overland flow as a result of rapid catchment response to the intense rainfall. The hydrological processes related to the rapid catchment response are poorly understood and reliable prediction is generally beyond the capability of traditional hydrological models or simplified hydrodynamic models. This work aims to present a shock-capturing hydrodynamic modelling system to simulate the complex rainfall-runoff and the subsequent flash surface flooding process in a rapid-response catchment. The model solves the fully 2D shallow water equations using a finite volume Godunov-type shock-capturing numerical scheme for the rapidly varying overland flow hydrodynamics following intense rainfall. Typically, this type of shock-capturing hydrodynamic models is not able to provide efficient and high-resolution simulations for large-scale flash flood events due to their high computational demand. In order to substantially improve the computational efficiency and enable catchment-scale simulations at very high resolution involving millions of computational nodes, the model is implemented on GPUs for high-performance parallel computing. After being validated against the analytical benchmark of Tilted V-catchment test, the GPU-accelerated hydrodynamic modelling system is applied to simulate the rainfall-runoff process in the 42 km2 Haltwhistle Burn Catchment in England.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Liang Q, Xia X, Hou J

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 12th International Conference on Hydroinformatics (HIC 2016) - Smart Water for the Future

Year of Conference: 2016

Pages: 975-981

Online publication date: 24/08/2016

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Date deposited: 13/04/2017

ISSN: 1877-7058

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2016.07.585

Series Title: Procedia Engineering