Floodplain friction parameterization in two-dimensional river flood models using vegetation heights derived from airborne scanning laser altimetry

D.C. Mason, DM Cobby, MS Horritt, PD Bates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

174 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two-dimensional (2-D) hydraulic models are currently at the forefront of research into river flood inundation prediction. Airborne scanning laser altimetry is an important new data source that can provide such models with spatially distributed floodplain topography together with vegetation heights for parameterization of model friction. The paper investigates how vegetation height data can be used to realize the currently unexploited potential of 2-D flood models to specify a friction factor at each node of the finite element model mesh. The only vegetation attribute required in the estimation of floodplain node friction factors is vegetation height. Different sets of flow resistance equations are used to model channel sediment, short vegetation, and tall and intermediate vegetation. The scheme was tested in a modelling study of a flood event that occurred on the River Severn, UK, in October 1998. A synthetic aperture radar image acquired during the flood provided an observed flood extent against which to validate the predicted extent. The modelled flood extent using variable friction was found to agree with the observed extent almost everywhere within the model domain. The variable-friction model has the considerable advantage that it makes unnecessary the unphysical fitting of floodplain and channel friction factors required in the traditional approach to model calibration. Copyright (C) 2003 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1711-1732
Number of pages22
JournalHydrological Processes
Volume17
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2003

Keywords

  • COEFFICIENTS
  • River Severn
  • segmentation
  • RADAR IMAGERY
  • distributed friction
  • SHALLOW-WATER
  • FIELD
  • CHANNELS
  • ROUGHNESS
  • RESISTANCE
  • GRASS
  • synthetic aperture radar
  • BOUNDARY HYDRODYNAMIC PROBLEMS

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