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Flood Modeller 2018

What's new in Flood Modeller

Jon Wicks, Technical Director - FloodModeller, Jacobs

Jacobs’ Flood Modeller software continues to be enhanced in response to user feedback as well as our development programme to bring efficiencies and new functionality to our users. This presentation demonstrates some of the latest functionality added to the software.

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On the shoulders of giants: How modelling underpins current and future priorities for FCRM

Stefan Laeger, Improvements Manager and FFFS Project Executive, Environment Agency

Flood modelling and forecasting underpins and enables everything we do in FCRM. Always there but not often (enough) heard, it provides key evidence to help people, communities and government understand the risks we face now and in future, what can be done about it, and provides a life line to plan, prepare and respond to flood incidents to protect lives and livelihoods.

This talks brings together key examples of their modelling, forecasting and wider risk assessment work, they are currently delivering in the EA. It highlights the breadth of modelling work undertaken, the types of business decisions it is underpinning, and reflects how modelling can make biggest differences for everyone involved in a cost effective way. It concludes with their view on the future priorities for the modelling, forecasting and wider community and the challenges and opportunities they bring for practitioners.

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Exploring the new mass balance reporting in Flood Modeller

Jon Lloyd, Senior Engineer, Arcadis

Mass balance, for a long time, has stood as one of the key indicators of model stability. However, between the clear cut rules that we set out as modellers, the ways that we report mass balance and interrogate the numbers, tells a more complex story. This presentation looks to explore some of the new mass balance reporting that Flood Modeller Pro introduced in version 4.3; exploring the practicalities of addressing mass balance errors in 1D and 1D/2D models; and asking whether there are dangers in over relying on mass balance as an indicator of model performance.

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The application of Flood Cloud in option appraisal modelling

Rupreet Rai, Flood Risk Consultant, Capita

Capita REI have been commissioned by the Environment Agency to carry out a detailed appraisal for the short term and long term continued operation of a Terminal Assisted Outfall (gravity and pumped discharge) at Keadby. The scope of the project included modelling and a full economic assessment for each of the proposed options.

Flood Cloud has been used to meet the high demands of the modelling required for this project allowing fast turn-around of modelling results, and getting answers to the client quickly and efficiently.

The presentation will detail the successful use of Flood Cloud, considering some of the challenges that arose and the solutions Capita have embraced, as well as how we can better utilise this service in the future.

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Ovingham surface water management

Andrew Tweddle, Civil Engineer, Stantec

The presentation will summarise the Ovingham Surface Water Management scheme and the contribution Flood Modeller has played in the understanding, quantification and control of rural runoff causing property flood risk.

Ovingham is a small town in the Tyne valley, west of Newcastle upon Tyne, which has suffered repeated flooding. ESH/MWH was commissioned by Northumbrian Water and Northumberland County Council to develop an integrated hydraulic model, and develop measures for the management of surface water to reduce property and infrastructure flood risk. Flooding has been sourced mainly from rural catchment areas to the north which collect and flow south along several distinct flow paths towards the urban areas. An adjacent watercourse, the Whittle Burn, is also significant in terms of its impact on connected surface water outfalls, and controls of proposed surface water measures, for which an understanding was required.

Flood Modeller was used to understand the extent and nature of the rural runoff impacting upon the catchment. Parameters were taken from the FEH website, and validated against the defined catchment area and information sources relating to the soil type. Flood Modeller was then used to generate net rainfall, with ReFH losses applied, based upon these catchment parameters, in order to be used in an integrated hydraulic model on the whole drainage system. The integrated model combines the rural system, in terms of direct
rainfall response to a definition of the ground surface from LiDAR data, interactions with highway drainage systems and finally Northumbrian Water sewer systems. The generated rainfall was also used to define overland flow paths and quantify runoff volumes, to understand property flood risk and develop a range of surface water management measures.

Further to this, Flood Modeller was used to understand the level response in an adjacent watercourse to determine the influence it has on the existing drainage system, property risk, control structures and exceedance cases for the proposed surface water management measures.

The use of Flood Modeller was critical to the success of the project and allowed for an industry recognised methodology to be adopted and integrated with other hydraulic modelling techniques and software. The results could also be used to validate the models against available data sources for flood risk such as Environment Agency surface water flood mapping.

The scheme recommended a combination of swales, bunds, conveyance pipes and above ground storage basins to manage surface water and reduce property flood risk to the desired standard. The project is expected to be completed towards the end of 2018

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Identifying the full range of flood impacts, using MCM data

Edmund Penning-Rowsell, Independent

Modelling is not an end in itself; surely the objective is to model something? And that something usually is the impact of flooding on individual people, communities and economies. We need this to make decisions about investment priorities, incident management and other non-structural measures such as spatial planning and warning systems. The challenge here is not just to model flood flows and flood extents, but all the characteristics of flooding including duration, flood water contamination, flood velocities, and the accurate incidence of “receptors” such as people, property and infrastructure. The analysis of the hydraulics and hydrology is necessary but not sufficient, and in future we need to look to be more ambitious in this modelling service to satisfy properly the needs of those who are required to respond to flood incidents and reduce risk.

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A hybrid solution to modelling design flood events in the Vale of Pickering

Stuart Marshfield, Analyst, JBA Consulting

Modelling design flood events in large, flat rural catchments can be a challenge. Determining the correct modelling approach, for both hydraulics and hydrology, at the outset is critical. JBA Consulting was commissioned to undertake a detailed mapping study of ~150km of watercourse within the Vale of Pickering, accounting for complex flood mechanisms across a flat, largely defended catchment that is liable to flooding. Although there are several gauge records of considerable length, the extent of floodplain interaction within the Vale of Pickering necessitates a distributed approach to the design event hydrology. However, in order to ground the model is reality, the gauge record provides a significant amount of local knowledge. A hybrid solution was derived, reconciling a distributed approach against observed gauged records to determine design flood events grounded in the catchment context.

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Flood Modeller tips and tricks

Konrad Adams, Senior Developer - Flood Modeller, Jacobs Bob Potter, Development Manager - Flood Modeller, Jacobs

The goal of this session is two-fold – Flood Modeller users becoming more efficient and also obtaining greater confidence in their results.

Bob and Konrad will discuss some of the hidden features and unseen numerics behind Flood Modeller. They will cover less well-known features and how to get the best out of them; and also, why it is important to understand (at least some of) the science behind the numbers.

They will also use a combination of live demonstrations and examples to explain visualisation tools to review and identify issues with model outputs as well as Flood Modeller tools to facilitate the creation of components of 1D-2D linked models.

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Joint probability analysis of fluvial influences in Carlisle

Adam Parkes, Hydrologist and Hydraulic Modeller, Jacobs

Carlisle suffered extensive flooding in both 2005 and 2015, with the December 2015 event exceeding flow and rainfall records across Cumbria and ultimately defeating the existing defences at Carlisle. The Environment Agency is committed to providing an improve standard of protection to Carlisle. Jacobs were appointed to undertake a review of the 2015 event followed by appraisal and outline design of an enhanced scheme for the city.

Carlisle has a complex network of natural and altered watercourses, all of which interact and contribute to flood risk, making provision of a comprehensive and uniform standard of protection challenging. Local hydrology is a key area of uncertainty, where magnitude, volume, timing and joint probability of flows are critical to defining ultimate scheme design.

Following December 2015, it is essential that we can give the community confidence in the scheme being promoted. Taking advantage of extensive flow records, advances in multi-variate joint probability analysis and a comprehensive Flood Modeller model of the city allowed the project team to identify and then test thousands of potential combinations of inflows to derive scheme design levels with a far greater level of certain than previously possible.

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Catchment modelling – a systems approach

Tracey Haxton, Technical Director, Wallingford HydroSolutions Daniel Hamilton, Consultant, Wallingford HydroSolutions

Large scale catchment modelling has many inherent difficulties, one of which is the ability to simultaneously model the short peaky rainfall events and subsequent peaky flood response which dominate the upper reaches of a catchment alongside the longer duration rainfall events and associated attenuated flood response in the lower reaches of a catchment. Using one duration event throughout a catchment can cause an underestimation of the design events peak flow, and subsequently risk, in the upper reaches and dividing
the catchment into large sub-catchments can cause ‘step’ changes in risk to occur.

Wallingford HydroSolutions (WHS) recently undertook the development of large scale 1D/2D catchment models of the River Ebbw and the Ely. These are both located in the South Wales valleys where the upper, hillier parts of the catchment would normally have a flashy flood response to a shorter duration rainfall event whereas the lower parts of the catchment will typically have a slower, less peaky response to a longer duration rainfall event.

Using ReFH2, with its integration in Flood Modeller Pro, WHS have developed a catchment model in which critical durations are retained throughout the catchments. As part of this work a new approach has been developed to reconcile ReFH2 hydrographs with FEH statistical estimates, incorporating local data. This method focuses on initial conditions and consideration of the Tp parameter. The small, sequential changes in duration used throughout the catchment enable the hydraulic model to assess flood risk throughout the
catchment, whilst also maintaining flood peaks, time of travel and flood attenuation when compared with observed (gauging station) data within the catchment. The resulting integrated catchment model allows flood risk to be estimated robustly throughout the catchment. 

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Flood Modeller control unit: Introduction, implementation and benefits

Liam Durr, Senior Modeller, Jacobs Jenny Kirwan-Evans, Modelling and Forecasting Advisor, Environment Agency

The Manchester Ship Canal was constructed in 1894 to allow ocean going vessels across to Manchester from Liverpool. The canal is separated into a series of five ponds by lock structures at Model Wheel, Barton, Irlam, Latchford and Eastham. The canal was constructed by canalising parts of the courses of the Rivers Irwell and Mersey; therefore, the canal has a secondary role of providing land drainage for much of the Manchester conurbation.

With direct contributions along the canal system the Manchester Ship Canal lock structures must optimise the positions of sluice gates to maintain statutory water levels in each of the five ponds at both high and low flows. This dynamic system has been represented within a 1D-2D hydrodynamic model in Flood Modeller software, sluice gate operations have been controlled using Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) algorithms available within the Flood Modeller Control Module.

The Flood Modeller Control Module is a self-contained part of the Flood Modeller Pro suite that is used to simulate automated control systems. An automatic system is a system which will endeavour to maintain one or more hydraulic variables at specified value (set points), this is achieved by automatically modifying a controlled variable based on the deviation from the required set points.

The Environment Agency require models for a variety of different purposes with accuracy and reliability at the core of their development. The Flood Modeller Control Module is shown to improve the Manchester Ship Canal automatic operational system and the Environment Agency are keen to realise these benefits in other modelled automated control systems. These benefits can be realised across a variety of different model types and operational structures/assets.

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