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Guelph Flood Forecasting Model (GFLOOD): An Innovative Modelling Approach for Estimating Flows and Water Levels in Streams

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Title: Guelph Flood Forecasting Model (GFLOOD): An Innovative Modelling Approach for Estimating Flows and Water Levels in Streams
Author: Perdikaris, John
Department: Department of History
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Rudra, Ramesh
Abstract: The analysis of large-scale watershed processes and development of an efficient and integrated modelling platform is the focus of this research. The research focused on developing a series of modelling tools that can be used in the simulation of the overall response of a watershed based on a localized or distributed hydrologic event. This is achieved through the introduction of a hybrid modelling concept using a combination of empirically based lumped hydrologic processes and a physics-based distributed model representation. The watershed simulation model (GFLOOD) was developed to account for the complexity of the watershed including the variations in climate, soils, topography, and landuse conditions across the watershed. GFLOOD stands for Guelph Flood Forecasting Model, a river basin or watershed scale flow prediction model. Two major modelling components of the GFLOOD model are the time parameters (time of concentration (Tc) and recession constant (K)) and the channel routing component. Each of these modelling components is evaluated separately. The equations developed in this study for estimating the time parameters can be used as an initial estimate for Tc and K for ungauged basins, and through calibration and/or sensitivity analysis the values of Tc and K can be finalized. The Saint Venant equations for flood routing are solved by transforming the momentum equation into a partial differential equation which has six parameters related to cross-sectional area and discharge of the channel, left floodplain and right floodplain. The simplified dynamic model was further modified to account for transmission losses, evaporation losses and bank storage within the channel. The model was compared with the solutions of the general dynamic wave model, diffusion wave model and the more complex dynamic wave model. The comparison shows that there is good agreement between the results of the simplified dynamic model and the other models however, the simplified dynamic model is easier to formulate and compute than the other models. The complete GFLOOD model was applied to the Welland River Watershed within Southern Ontario. The model was evaluated for its ability to predict streamflow and water levels along the main branch of the Welland River.
Date: 2013-05
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