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Modelling the hydraulics of the Carlisle 2005 flood event

By M. S. Horritt, P. D. Bates, T. J. Fewtrell, David Cecil Mason and M.D . Wilson


The performance of a 2D numerical model of flood hydraulics is tested for a major event in Carlisle, UK, in 2005. This event is associated with a unique data set, with GPS surveyed wrack lines and flood extent surveyed 3 weeks after the flood. The Simple Finite Volume (SFV) model is used to solve the 2D Saint-Venant equations over an unstructured mesh of 30000 elements representing channel and floodplain, and allowing detailed hydraulics of flow around bridge piers and other influential features to be represented. The SFV model is also used to corroborate flows recorded for the event at two gauging stations. Calibration of Manning's n is performed with a two stage strategy, with channel values determined by calibration of the gauging station models, and floodplain values determined by optimising the fit between model results and observed water levels and flood extent for the 2005 event. RMS error for the calibrated model compared with surveyed water levels is ~±0.4m, the same order of magnitude as the estimated error in the survey data. The study demonstrates the ability of unstructured mesh hydraulic models to represent important hydraulic processes across a range of scales, with potential applications to flood risk management. \u

Topics: 551
Publisher: Thomas Telford
Year: 2010
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