The Wonders of the Flood Universe.

We have recently embarked on a mission to recreate ancient stream flow paths on Mars!?

Well, not really. Although the landscape is reminiscent of the red planet, this is remote Australia – thousands of km away from urban centres in the north. JBPacific’s Flood Engineers were conducting a flood risk assessment of various failure scenarios for the construction of a proposed ring-tank. The scale of the project, within an equally large catchment required the application of innovative modelling approaches, including testing multiple ring tank failure scenarios and completing a robust flood risk assessment for regulatory approval.

The gigantic flood model spans over a 236km by 236km footprint and has a fascinating landscape when viewed at a zoomed out scale. The braided, flat & shallow waterway network connecting the river systems are beautiful when viewed from above during flood events, which often peak over a period of weeks, providing much needed water into this dry to arid landscape.

This project involved extreme flood estimation of design flood events up to the Probable Maximum Flood using the latest ARR 2019 guidelines and building a stable HPC Tuflow model to understand flood behaviour of the highly volatile flood waves associated with a hypothetical rapid embankment collapse and to handle the release of billions of litres of water during a Probable Maximum Flood event. Some of the challenges which were overcome as part of this study included:

  • Adjusting SRTM data differences by ground truthing the data set to survey data.

  • Update stream topography nearby project site and update property database using latest open source data.

  • Utilise Tuflow HPC, which cutdown model run time remarkably -95% reduction to Tuflow Classic model run time

  • Amalgamate site specific survey information to simulate stable models that can perform better under extreme flooding conditions.

  • Intelligent use of model restart file to conduct failure assessment – This step cut down weeks long real time flood event to few days ahead flood peak to generate desirable flooding condition for breaching event. This effectively reduces run time to around 30min for this gigantic model resulting in a 99% reduction to runtime from a Classic model.

The bespoke, innovative in-house tools developed as part of this study provide a cost-efficient and timely method to deliver future large scale flood modelling and flood risk assessments.

If you’re a developer, irrigator, farmer, mining company or government agency and would like to know more please get in touch with Nilantha Karunarathna, Principal Engineer or William Prentice, Technical Director Flood Risk via

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