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Durham University

Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Alexander Densmore

Sanyal, J., Carbonneau, P. & Densmore, A.L. Low-cost inundation modelling at the reach scale with sparse data in the Lower Damodar River basin, India. Hydrological Sciences Journal. 2014;59:2086-2102.

Author(s) from Durham


Data unavailability is the main reason for limited applications of hydrodynamic models for predicting inundation in the developing world. This paper aims to generate moderately high-resolution hybrid terrain data by merging height information from low-cost Indian Remote Sensing satellite (IRS) Cartosat-1 stereo satellite images, freely-available Shuttle Radar Topograph Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM) data, and limited surveyed channel cross-sections. The study reach is characterized by anabranching channels that are associated with channel bifurcation, loops and river islands. We compared the performance of a simple 1D–2D coupled LISFLOOD-FP model and a complex fully 2D finite element TELEMAC-2D model with the hybrid terrain data. The results show that TELEMAC-2D produced significantly improved simulated inundation with the hybrid terrain data, as compared to the SRTM DEM. LISFLOOD-FP was found unsuitable to work with the hybrid DEM in a complicated fluvial environment, as it failed to efficiently divert water in the branches from the main channel.