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Title: Probabilistic real-time urban flood forecasting based on data of varying degree of quality and quantity
Author: René, Jeanne-Rose Christelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 601X
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis provides a basic framework for probabilistic real-time urban flood forecasting based on data of varying degree of quality and quantity. The framework was developed based on precipitation data from two case study areas:Aarhus Denmark and Castries St. Lucia. Many practitioners have acknowledged that a combination of structural and non-structural measures are required to reduce the effects of flooding on urban environments, but the general dearth of the desired data and models makes the development of a flood forecasting system seem unattainable. Needless to say, high resolution data and models are not always achievable and it may be necessary to override accuracy in order to reduce flood risk in urban areas and focus on estimating and communicating the uncertainty in the available resource. Thus, in order to develop a pertinent framework, both primary and secondary data sources were used to discover the current practices and to identify relevant data sources. Results from an online survey revealed that we currently have the resources to make a flood forecast and also pointed to potential open source quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) which is the single most important component in order to make a flood forecast. The design of a flood forecasting system entails the consideration of several factors, thus the framework provides an overview of the considerations and provides a description of the proposed methods that apply specifically to each component. In particular, this thesis focuses extensively on the verification of QPF and QPE from NWP weather radar and highlights a method for estimating the uncertainty in the QPF from NWP models based on a retrospective comparison of observed and forecasted rainfall in the form of probability distributions. The results from the application of the uncertainty model suggest that the rainfall forecasts has a large contribution to the uncertainty in the flood forecast and applying a method which bias corrects and estimates confidence levels in the forecast looks promising for real-time flood forecasting. This work also describes a method used to generate rainfall ensembles based on a catalogue of observed rain events at suitable temporal scales. Results from model calibration and validation highlights the invaluable potential in using images extracted from social network sites for model calibration and validation. This framework provides innovative possibilities for real-time urban flood forecasting.
Supervisor: Djordjevic, Slobodan; Butler, David; Mark, Ole; Madsen, Henrik Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: data quality ; real-time ; urban flood forecasting framework ; uncertainty estimation ; quantitative precipitation forecast