Real-time flood inundation forecasting and mapping for key railway infrastructure: a UK case study

Real-time flood inundation forecasting and mapping for key railway infrastructure: a UK case study.
Gouldby, B.P.and Murphy, A. and Cole, S. and Moore, R.J. and Kendall, H.
In: FLOODrisk 2016, 18-20 October 2016, Lyon, France. (2016)

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Abstract:Flooding events that impede railway infrastructure can cause severe travel delays for the general public and large fines in delayed minutes for the rail industry. Early warnings of flood inundation can give more time to implement mitigation measures which help reduce cancellations, delays and fines. This paper describes the development of a site-specific real-time flood inundation forecasting and mapping system for the Cowley Bridge track area near Exeter, UK. The Cowley Bridge location has been chosen as it is on one of the main access routes to South West England and has suffered major floods in the past resulting in significant transport impacts. Current operational flood forecasting systems in the UK generally forecast river level and/or flow rather than extent and depth of flood inundation. This paper discusses the development of a chain of coupled models that link rainfall to river flow, river level and flood extent for the rail track area relating to Cowley Bridge. The modelling system operates alongside a series of in-situ sensors, which have been identified to enhance the flood mapping forecasting system. These include: Offline calibration and verification of the flood inundation numerical model; Real-time data assimilation, where measurements from sensors are used as input to correct and improve the forecasts; Use of real-time measurements to provide information on flood conditions, which can directly inform track closure decisions. A series of historical events are used to test the performance of the models in their ability to accurately predict railway inundation. There are a number of practical challenges to implementing a flood mapping system in real-time. In particular the computational demand of running flood inundation simulations and subsequently publishing the information produced in a mapped format on the internet, in a suitable form and within an appropriate timescale. This paper will describe how these challenges have been overcome for Cowley Bridge.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Real-Time; Flood Forecasting; In-situ sensors; Inundation; Transport Infrastructure
Subjects:Floods > General
Coasts > General
ID Code:1309
Deposited On:18 May 2016 15:19
Last Modified:18 Jan 2017 13:12

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