Concepts in river modelling and flood risk management
Rivers drainage and flooding
This course is aimed at practitioners and staff responsible for formulating and reviewing hydraulic models. It provides best practice guidance on the standards that should be used when carrying out computer modelling of watercourses for flood risk management purposes.
A model is an idealisation of the real-life situation which it represents. The
key principal of modelling is to ensure that the representation is sufficient for
the purpose for which it will be used. Over the past 15 years hydraulic modelling
software used in flood risk management studies has become increasingly easy to
use. However, the increased user friendliness, flexibility and choice of software
can, unfortunately, lead to inconsistency in the approach and quality of hydraulic
This course provides an overview of river modelling software widely used in the
UK, together with their advantages and disadvantages.
Background to the development of river modelling and an introduction to river
Model construction including:
choice of model;
an introduction to the representation of structures (e.g. weirs and bridges);
the incorporation of historical information into models.
Boundary conditions and other important parameters.
Sensitivity analysis and uncertainty.
Calibration and verification of hydraulic models.
Quality assurance and audit trail of models.
Who should attend?
Those responsible for the evaluation and formulation of river models for use in
flood risk management studies including Environment Agency staff, consultants and
local authority staff.
At the end of the course participants will have:
an understanding of which hydraulic models are appropriate for different situations;
an overview of the pieces of river modelling software that are widely used in
the UK, together with their advantages and disadvantages;
a comprehension of issues such as the spacing of river cross-sections, the location
of boundary conditions, and the importance of calibration and verification;
an understanding of the main sources of uncertainty and how these can be communicated
to a range of stakeholders;
an overview of the importance of quality assurance and audit trail techniques
such as model diaries.