10 July 2018
During Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology was confronted with a disparity between the magnitude of riverine flood forecasts and storm surge guidance at Mackay, which added complexity to the warning process. The model and data rich environment of Australia allows for a state of the art operational inundation and flood impact modelling information system. So inspired by TC Debbie, the Bureau and Deltares have started a research project to set up a Proof of Concept (PoC) for an operational forecasting system that looks at the interactions of combined riverine and coastal inundation, as well as the following damage and impact.
The PoC makes use of existing operational flood and coastal models, as operated by the Bureau, combined with a inundation model and impact model developed newly by Deltares. The inundation model (D-Flow FM module of the Delft3D FM Suite) and uses riverine and coastal boundary conditions from the operational systems of the Bureau. The impact model (Delft-FIAT) is based on static data provided by Geoscience Australia to determine the impact of the forecast inundation. Both D-Flow FM and Delft-FIAT are open source tools.
The PoC is a stand alone system, with test data to run the centennial 1918 Tropical Cyclone in current-day Mackay. There are several research questions we try to answer with this project, but the ultimate question is how this forecast data can be used to provide better and timely information to end users like SES and councils.
Simone De Kleermaeker
Sr. Researcher / consultant