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Disaster Protection of Transport Infrastructure and Mobility Using Flood Risk Modeling and Geospatial Visualization
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Disaster Protection of Transport Infrastructure and Mobility Using Flood Risk Modeling and Geospatial Visualization
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    Final Report
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    infrastructure networks are essential to sustain our economy, society and quality of life. Natural disasters cost lives, infrastructure destruction, and economic losses. In 2013 over 28 million people were displaced worldwide by natural disasters with 90 % in Asia and about half million in North America. During 1980 to 2011, the overall loss from weather related catastrophes was US$ 1,060 Billion (in 2011 values) in North America. Floods and hurricanes are the most common and damaging among all weather related natural disasters. Additionally, floods adversely impact the environment and biodiversity. Worldwide floods claimed millions of lives and resulted in billion-dollar economic costs. In the United States, billions of dollars in repair and replacement costs of bridge assets were needed after the disaster of 2005 Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast. Higher frequency and ferocity of rainfall and coastal hurricanes in recent years have increased the risk of flood disasters. The NCITEC project “Disaster Protection of Transport Infrastructure and Mobility Using Flood Risk Modeling and Geospatial Visualization” addresses the goal of using flood simulations to assess the flood risk and impacts on the built infrastructure. The primary objectives of this project are to: select a test site in Mississippi on the downstream of a river, extract river centerline and infrastructure features on a geospatial map, simulate extreme flood scenarios, and evaluate the structural integrity of bridges. Traditionally, flood simulation and risk mapping relied on one-dimensional flood models. In this project, two-dimensional flood propagation modeling is simulated over large areas using the DSS-WISE software, developed by the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering. It combines a state-of-the-art two-dimensional numerical model, CCHE2D-FLOOD, with a digital elevation model (DEM) of the study area and geospatial visualization. The numerical model solves full dynamic shallow water equations over the DEM of natural topography that can handle mixed flow regimes, wetting/drying, and disconnected flow domains. The extreme flood simulation results for the pilot study Sardis site considering 10-m square computation cells of the bare ground indicate a total area of 31 mi2 (80 km2) inundated. The floodwater reached up to 39 ft (12 m) above the ground level and 13–16 ft (4 – 4.9 m) over the top of the two highways and rail infrastructure bridges. The local scour around the 10 ft-diameter bridge piers in the main channel is estimated as 17.30 ft (5.3 m), which is severe. A detailed structural integrity analysis of the US-51 bridge model shows the most critical condition as the factor of safety approaches 1.0. This happens when the floodwater level is at the top of the concrete girders, which destabilizes the girder-bearing areas. Field evidence and failure analysis of post-flood images show the washing away and destruction of bridges over streams and other bodies of water when the floodwater reaches the deck level, as observed for bridge destruction cases during both 2005 Katrina and 2011 Irene hurricane disasters. This important finding of optimum clearance of bridge superstructure above the channel bed is recommended to implement in state bridge management systems for flagging such vulnerable bridges and prioritizing for mitigation.
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