Modelling of urban flooding due to yangtze river dike break

Xin Wang, Zhixian Cao, Gareth Pender, Guangming Tan

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5 Citations (Scopus)


A computational case study is presented of the flooding in urban Jiujiang due to the Yangtze River dike break in August 1998. A shallow water hydrodynamic model was deployed based on the weighted average flux - total variation diminishing (WAF-TVD) finite volume algorithm. A series of numerical modelling was conducted to identify the influences of the mesh resolution and model parameterisation on the flood propagation. Three mesh resolutions (2, 5 and 10 m) were used, and spatially distributed roughness was specified based on land-use classification. Due to the highly irregular topography and densely distributed buildings, the flood propagation is largely hindered. The numerical results show that an area of merely 6 km2 was inundated at 6 h following the dike break with a discharge of 400 m3/s. Mesh resolution and roughness parameterisation have considerable effects on the flood propagation, whereas the impact of turbulent eddy viscosity is negligible. A coarser mesh could result in a larger inundation area (10%), and a lumped roughness may produce an appreciable overestimation of the inundation area in the initial period of the flood propagation. This observation highlights the significance of mesh resolution and also physically meaningful estimation of the roughness for urban flood modelling. © 2010.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Water Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Floods
  • Floodworks/Hydraulics
  • Hydrodynamics
  • River engineering


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