Articles | Volume 19, issue 8
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 3605–3616, 2015
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 3605–3616, 2015

Research article 18 Aug 2015

Research article | 18 Aug 2015

Integration of 2-D hydraulic model and high-resolution lidar-derived DEM for floodplain flow modeling

D. Shen1,2,3,5, J. Wang1,2,4, X. Cheng3,5, Y. Rui1,2, and S. Ye3,5 D. Shen et al.
  • 1Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  • 2Department of Geographic Information Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  • 3Changjiang River Scientific Research Institute, Changjiang Water Resources Commission, Wuhan, Hubei, China
  • 4Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  • 5Engineering Technology Research Center of Mountain Torrent and Geological Disaster Prevention of The Ministry of Water Resources, Wuhan, Hubei, China

Abstract. The rapid progress of lidar technology has made the acquirement and application of high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) data increasingly popular, especially in regards to the study of floodplain flow. However, high-resolution DEM data pose several disadvantages for floodplain modeling studies; e.g., the data sets contain many redundant interpolation points, large numbers of calculations are required to work with data, and the data do not match the size of the computational mesh. Two-dimensional (2-D) hydraulic modeling, which is a popular method for analyzing floodplain flow, offers highly precise elevation parameterization for computational mesh while ignoring much of the micro-topographic information of the DEM data itself. We offer a flood simulation method that integrates 2-D hydraulic model results and high-resolution DEM data, thus enabling the calculation of flood water levels in DEM grid cells through local inverse distance-weighted interpolation. To get rid of the false inundation areas during interpolation, it employs the run-length encoding method to mark the inundated DEM grid cells and determine the real inundation areas through the run-length boundary tracing technique, which solves the complicated problem of connectivity between DEM grid cells. We constructed a 2-D hydraulic model for the Gongshuangcha detention basin, which is a flood storage area of Dongting Lake in China, by using our integrated method to simulate the floodplain flow. The results demonstrate that this method can solve DEM associated problems efficiently and simulate flooding processes with greater accuracy than simulations only with DEM.