Methodologies to study the surface hydraulic behaviour of urban catchments during storm events

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

A good knowledge of the hydraulic behaviour of an urban catchment and its surface drainage system is an essential requirement to guarantee traffic and pedestrian safety. In many cases, inlets have been situated according to spatial density criteria. Indeed a more rational location of inlets on urban catchments must be defined according to an accurate analysis of the relationship between street flow and inlet hydraulic efficiency. Moreover we lack specific hazard criteria in terms of the maximum acceptable flow depths and velocities on the streets that do not cause problems to pedestrians. In this paper the results of two different experimental campaigns are presented. The first was carried out to evaluate inlet hydraulic efficiency; the second was carried out to address the pedestrian stability in urban flood conditions, whose aim was to propose new hazard criteria. On the basis of the experimental results, a methodology was developed to assess flood hazard in urban areas during storm events. If a refined topographic representation of urban areas is available, a two-dimensional numerical simulation of urban flooding can be performed using complete shallow water equations. According to this approach a numerical application for flood hazard assessment in a street of Barcelona is shown.

Keywords: 2D model, hazard assessment, surface drainage systems, urban flooding

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