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Flood inundation modelling with an adaptive quadtree grid shallow water equation solver

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Qiuhua Liang, Professor Jim Hall



Flood risk studies require hydraulic modeling in order to estimate flow depths and other hydraulic variables in the floodplain for a wide range of input conditions. Currently there is a need to improve the computational efficiency of fully two-dimensional numerical models for large-scale flood simulation. This paper describes an adaptive quadtree grid-based shallow water equation solver and demonstrates its capability for flood inundation modeling. Due to the grid dynamically adapting to dominant flow features such as steep water surface gradients and wet-dry fronts, the approach is both efficient and accurate. The quadtree model is applied to a realistic scenario of flood inundation over an urban area of 36 km2, resulting from the flood defenses breaching at Thamesmead on the River Thames, United Kingdom. The results of the simulation are in close agreement with alternative predictions obtained using the commercially available software TUFLOW.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Liang Q, Du G, Hall JW, Borthwick AGL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Hydraulic Engineering

Year: 2008

Volume: 134

Issue: 11

Pages: 1603-1610

Print publication date: 01/11/2008

ISSN (print): 0733-9429

ISSN (electronic): 1943-7900

Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers


DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(2008)134:11(1603)


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Funder referenceFunder name
GR/S76304/01United Kingdom Flood Risk Management Research Consortium