A GIS-based model for urban flood inundation


Modeling flood inundation in an urban setting is increasingly relevant given the magnitude of potential loss and disruption associated with non-riverine, urban flooding. Both complexities in the urban environment and lack of high-resolution topographic and hydrologic data compromise the development and implementation of models of non-riverine flooding in urban areas. This paper describes a case study analysis of an urban university campus to develop and test a GIS-based urban flood inundation model (GUFIM). The model consists of two components: a storm-runoff model and an inundation model. Cumulative surface runoff, output of the storm-runoff model, serves as input to the inundation model. The storm-runoff model adapts the Green-Ampt model to compute infiltration based on rainfall characteristics, soil properties, and drainage infrastructure conveyance. The basis of the inundation model is a flat-water model. This effort uses publicly available elevation data, storm data, and insurance claim data to develop, implement and verify the model approach. GUFIM is an alternative to physical-based dynamic models characterized by accurate results, efficient performance, and reasonable input and hardware requirements. The University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee is the study location used here. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Hydrology