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Flood Modeling The Effect of Urbanisation on Flood Flows

Flood Modeling The Effect of Urbanisation on Flood Flows

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Padraig Clery. Originally submitted for Civil Engineering at University of Limerick, with lecturer Michael Quilligan in the category of Engineering & Mechanical Sciences
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Padraig Clery. Originally submitted for Civil Engineering at University of Limerick, with lecturer Michael Quilligan in the category of Engineering & Mechanical Sciences

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
 
Flood ModelingThe Effect of Urbanisation on Flood Flows
In partial fulfilment of the requirement for The Degree of Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering
 April 2012
 
 i
 Abstract 
It is estimated that flooding accounts for two thirds of all natural disasters by numberand economic losses. Additionally floods are responsible almost half the deathsassociated with all such disasters. As urbanisation has the effect of decreasing thenatural surface cover of catchments and resultantly increasing surface runoff it isimportant to quantify the effects it has had on the flow regime of highly urbanisedcatchments in Ireland. The scope of this thesis is aimed at analysing the effects urbangrowth has had on the flow regime of highly urbanised catchments in the Dublin regionbetween 1990 and 2006.In the past 20 years significant urban growth has taken place in inner Dublin and itssuburbs. Two highly urbanised catchments deemed representative of those in the Dublinarea were analysed to determine urban growth in the period and its resultant effect onthe flow regime of the catchments. The catchments chosen for this analysis were theRiver Griffeen and the River Camac catchments located in South Dublin.Urban growth in both catchments was studied to quantify the increase in impervioussurface cover that took place between 1990 and 2006. Corine land cover mapping for1990 and 2006 was used to determine the growth of urban surface cover in bothcatchments for the measurement period. Both catchments experienced significant urbangrowth with increases in impervious surface of 15% of total catchment area for theRiver Griffeen catchment and 10.5% of total catchment area for the River Camaccatchment.Hydrological modeling of both catchments was undertaken to determine the effect thisurban growth has had on the flow regime in both catchments. Modeling of events of between 1 hour and 24 hour duration was undertaken to determine critical precipitationevents that exacerbated the effects of urbanisation. For longer duration 24 hour eventsincrease in peak flow of 26% for the River Griffeen and 16% for the River Camac wasobserved. Shorter duration 1 hour event simulations significantly higher increases inpeak flow of 548% for the River Griffeen and 58% for the River Camac was observed.Although the presence of artificial hydraulic control structures such as weirs andattenuation was not taken account it is concluded that potential surface runoff from bothcatchments has increased between 1990 and 2006 however the scale of these increasesis dependant on the intensity and duration of the storm event.
 
 
 ii
Table of Contents 
Abstract ...................................................................................................................................... iTable of Contents ...................................................................................................................... iiTable of Figures ....................................................................................................................... ivTable of Tables ......................................................................................................................... vi1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 11.1 Hypothesis .......................................................................................................... 21.2 Structure of thesis ............................................................................................... 32 Literature Review ............................................................................................................... 42.1 Types of flooding ............................................................................................... 42.1.1 Riverine Flooding ....................................................................................... 42.1.2 Costal Flooding ........................................................................................... 52.1.3 Urban Flooding ........................................................................................... 52.2 Effects of flooding on civilisations .................................................................... 52.2.1 Building on floodplains ............................................................................... 52.2.2 Historic flooding ......................................................................................... 62.3 Global urbanisation trends .................................................................................. 72.4 Hydrological response of natural catchments .................................................... 82.5 Effects of urbanisation on catchment hydrology ................................................ 92.5.1 Geographic scale ....................................................................................... 112.5.2 Precipitation scale ..................................................................................... 132.5.3 Baseflow effects ........................................................................................ 142.5.4 Lag time effects ......................................................................................... 152.6 Hydrological models ........................................................................................ 153 Theory ............................................................................................................................... 173.1 Physical Classification ..................................................................................... 173.2 Model Spatial Distribution ............................................................................... 173.3 Model Temporal Distribution ........................................................................... 183.4 Hydrological Process Theory ........................................................................... 193.4.1 Surface runoff calculations ....................................................................... 203.4.2 Snyder Unit Hydrograph ........................................................................... 203.5 Infiltration loss calculations ............................................................................. 223.5.1 SCS Loss Method ...................................................................................... 223.6 Baseflow Estimation ......................................................................................... 243.6.1 Recession constant method ....................................................................... 24

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