Talks & Lectures
11 Nov 2019
Howe Building, Fielding Room

Physically-Based Simulation and Forecasting of Urban and Compound Flooding

Department of Civil, Environmental, and Ocean Engineering


The need for reliable hydrologic forecasting and modeling has increased in recent years, especially in urban communities, in order to protect lives and property. Moreover, from the perspective of urban emergency management, flood forecasts should be at high spatial and temporal resolutions and specific to local conditions. The presentation will also highlight the capabilities of a two-dimensional, fully-distributed, physically-based hydrologic simulation mode developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The model offers a multi-dimensional modeling technology that fully couples overland, surface, and subsurface flow for highly accurate watershed simulations. The model can be used as an event-based or continuous model where overland flow, soil surface moisture, groundwater levels, stream interactions, and constituent fate are continuously simulated. Open-source software tools can be used to provide access to multiple data sources (e.g. real-time remotely sensed rainfall estimates or forecast, ground flood sensors) and lower the barriers for users in management agencies at the local level. The main components of the system will be described together with case studies that demonstrate the potential benefits of high-resolution weather radar data, physically based distributed hydrologic modeling, and quantitative precipitation nowcasting for urban hydrology and flash flood prediction.


Hatim Sharif, Ph.D., P.E., MPH, is a professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. In his lab, Hydrometeorological and Geospatial Analytics, his group uses environmental data, modeling techniques, and geospatial data analytics to try to make the Earth a better place. They use algorithms that process satellite and radar observations of the Earth and the atmosphere and provide it in visual, text, and tabular formats that end users can understand and employ in different applications. His group uses advanced atmospheric forecasting, climate predictions, state-of-the-art hydrological modeling, spatio-temporal analysis, and visualization techniques to advance flood modeling and prediction in terms of accuracy and specificity to protect people and infrastructure. Dr. Sharif has a 20-year experience in hydrologic modeling and forecasting. Dr. Sharif’s projects (totaling more than $10 million) are funded by agencies such as NASA, National Science Foundation, US Departments of Defense, Transportation, Agriculture and Education, National Weather Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Texas Department of Transportation, CPS Energy, San Antonio River Authority and the City of San Antonio. Dr. Sharif has been invited as senior specialist to perform hydrology research at international institutions in the United States, France, Taiwan, and the Middle East.

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