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

Post date: Aug 17, 2013 7:46:42 PM

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.