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Floodplain Management


Currently, according to CIA Factbook, 83 out of 100 people are living in urban areas within the US. It is a similar scenario in many parts of the world. With huge population concentrations near urban center, which are generally located near rivers, large waterbodies (e.g., lakes, reservoirs), and near coastal areas, vulnerability due to floods is increasing. In this context, effectively managing floodplains is a crtical issue.  


TechWARMS focuses on floodplain management through modeling and simulating floods and evaluating effective and sustainable flood risk management alternatives. Flood models are often integrated in a spatial multi-criteria decision making framework. This enables simulating the effects of various flood risk strategies and their watershed scale flood risk impacts. The following section lists few recent (completed and on-going) projects.

Sustainability based Multi-Criteria Decision Making Framework for Flood Risk Mapping: Proof-of-Concept 


The objective of this research is to develop a sustainability based spatial multi-criteria decision making (SMCDM) framework to apply in flood risk management. The SMCDM framework is developed by incorporating a MCDM method, the Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP), geographical information system (GIS) and a 2-dimensional flood simulation tool, Flood2D-GPU.  This paper demonstrates application of this framework to Swannanoa River Watershed in Buncombe County, NC to create sustainability based flood risk maps. Incorporating the economic, social and environmental impacts of floods will lead to a holistic representation of flood impacts and thus lead to improvement of sustainability of the region.


Key words: Flood risk management, Flood2D-GPU, AHP, GIS, Sustainability. 

Figure 1.Sustainability based flood risk map for Swannanoa River Watershed

Impacts of Flood Velocity and Inundation Duration on Flood Management Decisions

Figure 2. Research Poster

This research was presented at the 2013 TTU Annual Research Day.

Swannanoa River 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (100-yr) Flood Inundation Map

Figure 3. Flood Inundation Map for Swannanoa River Watershed.

In this project, a 1% annual exceedance flood inundation map was generated using Flood2D-GPU (Kalyanapu et al., 2011; Burian et al., 2013). Uncalibrated flood simulations were performed purely to demonstrate the increase in flood damage estiamtes with increasing flood magnitude due to climate change impacts.

Figure 3 below presents the 1% floodplain map in Swannanoa River Watershed.Inset presents the flood damage estimates.

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