American Society of Civil Engineers


Flood Inundation Modeling with an Adaptive Quadtree Grid Shallow Water Equation Solver


by Qiuhua Liang, (corresponding author), (Lect. in Hydr. Engrg., School of Civ. Engrg. and Geosciences, Newcastle Univ., Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, U.K. E-mail: qiuhua.liang@ncl.ac.uk), Guozhi Du, (Sr. Engr., Dept. of Planning and Programming, Ministry of Water Resour. of China, Beijing 100053, P.R. China. E-mail: adu@mwr.gov.cn), Jim W. Hall, (Prof. of Earth Systems Engrg., School of Civ. Engrg. and Geosciences, Newcastle Univ., Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, U.K. E-mail: jim.hall@ncl.ac.uk), and Alistair G. L. Borthwick, (Prof. of Engrg. Sci., Dept. of Engrg. Sci., Univ. of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PJ, U.K. E-mail: alistair.borthwick@eng.ox.ac.uk)

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 134, No. 11, November 2008, pp. 1603-1610, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(2008)134:11(1603))

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: 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.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Flood plains
Numerical models
Flow simulation
Shallow water
Efficiency
Hydraulic models