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New publication: OpenMI coupled surface–subsurface water flow simulation for subsurface flood modeling with FEFLOW

posted 17 Aug 2013, 12:46 by Michiel Blind
Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Becker ( Deltares, The Netherlands 
Dipl.-Ing. Frederic Martin Evers ( 
Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Schüttrumpf ( RWTH Aachen University, Germany 

ABSTRACT:  A subsurface flood is a groundwater head rise induced by high water levels in a river. While
in the river the flood wave decays comparatively quickly, the duration of the subsurface event is usually
longer. Substantial unfavorable consequences of the subsurface flood are damages to buildings and
infrastructure caused by increased uplift forces and the penetration of water into buildings. In order to
assess the subsurface flood hazard and to develop mitigation measures, forecasting tools for subsurface
flood propagation are necessary. The interaction between surface and subsurface compartments requires 
a conjunctive modeling of these two domains. A coupled modeling system composed of the groundwater
flow simulation program FEFLOW (DHI-WASY) and the inundation model ILMOFLOOD (IWW, RWTH
Aachen University) is presented. The two programs exchange data during runtime according to the
OpenMI standard. The conversion of a flow simulation program into an OpenMI-compliant model usually
requires changes to the source code or even reorganization of the program sequence. It will be described
how the groundwater flow simulation program FEFLOW was made OpenMI compliant without changing the
source code with the help of the FEFLOW interface manager (IFM). The results of a coupled simulation
show that the propagation of a subsurface flood not only depends on the river stage, but also on the
duration of a flood event in the river and the initial groundwater levels. The coupled system is going to be
integrated in a subsurface flood forecasting system for the city of Cologne.