Tracking, sensing and predicting flood wave propagation using nomadic satellite communication systems and hydrodynamic models


CALL: 2009

DOMAIN: SR - Sustainable Management of Water Resources






KEYWORDS: Flood forecasting, hydrodynamic modelling, data assimilation

START: 2010-05-01

END: 2012-07-31


Submitted Abstract

There is a growing demand for the employment of novel observational technologies to improve flood inundation modelling. The overall aim of the proposed project is to contribute to the development of advanced flood forecasting systems with reduced uncertainty. The hydrometric stations currently run in the river networks of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg provide time-continuous measurements of water levels at point locations. However, the network’s spatial coverage has proven to be relatively sparse in the event of extreme floods. As a consequence, nomadic receivers of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data such as GPS and Galileo that relay their coordinates back to the processing station via satellite communication technologies offer considerable potential to overcome the scarcity of conventional fixed observation networks. A nomadic flood wave tracking system, entirely relying on satellite communication and navigation technologies, could help provide spatially distributed, time-continuous and near real-time water stage and flow velocity data recorded at remote locations across a river network. In critical situations, such a system would temporally increase the spatio-temporal resolution of measurements of key environmental variables such as water stage and flow velocity. The objective of the project is to provide new opportunities for water level and flow velocity observations in remote areas during restricted time windows through the use of satellite telecommunication and navigation technologies. The final design of the fully integrated system will accurately locate the drifting and/or anchored buoys and reliably deliver the GNSS locations of the nomadic platforms to the user’s desktop. Augmentation methods, such as differential GNSS and dual frequency GNSS receivers, are necessary for improving the positional accuracy. The integration of error-corrected spatially distributed and time-continuous hydrometric data with hydrodynamic models will ultimately reduce the predictive uncertainty in flood wave propagation modelling. The FLOODTRACKER project through a multidisciplinary approach investigates (i) the near-real time retrieval of useful, reliable and accurate hydrometric data (e.g. water stage, flow velocity) from drifting and anchored GNSS-enabled buoys, (ii) the use of these data to calibrate and evaluate coupled hydrologic-hydraulic models, (iii) the potential of such data sets to improve hydrodynamic model structures; and (iv) the usefulness of assimilating such data sets with models in near real-time. In all these studies, the assessment of uncertainty in observations, model parameters and predictions will be a major aspect.

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