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Durham e-Theses
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Flood Prediction and Mitigation in Data-Sparse Environments

SANYAL, JOY (2013) Flood Prediction and Mitigation in Data-Sparse Environments. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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In the last three decades many sophisticated tools have been developed that can accurately predict the dynamics of flooding. However, due to the paucity of adequate infrastructure, this technological advancement did not benefit ungauged flood-prone regions in the developing countries in a major way. The overall research theme of this dissertation is to explore the improvement in methodology that is essential for utilising recently developed flood prediction and management tools in the developing world, where ideal model inputs and validation datasets do not exist.

This research addresses important issues related to undertaking inundation modelling at different scales, particularly in data-sparse environments. The results indicate that in order to predict dynamics of high magnitude stream flow in data-sparse regions, special attention is required on the choice of the model in relation to the available data and hydraulic characteristics of the event. Adaptations are necessary to create inputs for the models that have been primarily designed for areas with better availability of data. Freely available geospatial information of moderate resolution can often meet the minimum data requirements of hydrological and hydrodynamic models if they are supplemented carefully with limited surveyed/measured information. This thesis also explores the issue of flood mitigation through rainfall-runoff modelling. The purpose of this investigation is to assess the impact of land-use changes at the sub-catchment scale on the overall downstream flood risk.

A key component of this study is also quantifying predictive uncertainty in hydrodynamic models based on the Generalised Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) framework. Detailed uncertainty assessment of the model outputs indicates that, in spite of using sparse inputs, the model outputs perform at reasonably low levels of uncertainty both spatially and temporally. These findings have the potential to encourage the flood managers and hydrologists in the developing world to use similar data sets for flood management.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Inundation Modelling; Rainfall-Runoff modelling; Land-use Change; DEM; Photogrammetry; LISFLOOD-FP; TELEMAC2D; Developing Country.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:17 Jul 2013 14:54

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