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Floodplain Terrain Analysis for Coarse Resolution 2D Flood Modeling

Water Resources Research and Documentation Center (WARREDOC), University for Foreigners of Perugia, 06123 Perugia, Italy
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICEA), University of Florence, 50139 Florence, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Hydrology 2018, 5(4), 52;
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Large Scale Flood Monitoring and Detection)
PDF [6116 KB, uploaded 21 September 2018]


Hydraulic modeling is a fundamental tool for managing and mitigating flood risk. Developing low resolution hydraulic models, providing consistent inundation simulations with shorter running time, as compared to high-resolution modeling, has a variety of potential applications. Rapid coarse resolution flood models can support emergency management operations as well as the coupling of hydrodynamic modeling with climate, landscape and environmental models running at the continental scale. This work sought to investigate the uncertainties of input parameters and bidimensional (2D) flood wave routing simulation results when simplifying the terrain mesh size. A procedure for fluvial channel bathymetry interpolation and floodplain terrain data resampling was investigated for developing upscaled 2D inundation models. The proposed terrain processing methodology was tested on the Tiber River basin evaluating coarse (150 m) to very coarse (up to 700 m) flood hazard modeling results. The use of synthetic rectangular cross sections, replacing surveyed fluvial channel sections, was also tested with the goal of evaluating the potential use of geomorphic laws providing channel depth, top width and flow area when surveyed data are not available. Findings from this research demonstrate that fluvial bathymetry simplification and DTM resampling is feasible when the terrain data resampling and fluvial cross section interpolation are constrained to provide consistent representation of floodplain morphology, river thalweg profile and channel flow area. Results show the performances of low-resolution inundation simulations running in seconds while maintaining a consistent representation of inundation extents and depths. View Full-Text
Keywords: DTM; terrain analysis; hydraulic geometry; large scale; 2D hydraulic modeling; scaling in hydrology DTM; terrain analysis; hydraulic geometry; large scale; 2D hydraulic modeling; scaling in hydrology

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Peña, F.; Nardi, F. Floodplain Terrain Analysis for Coarse Resolution 2D Flood Modeling. Hydrology 2018, 5, 52.

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