Science & Technology

Modelling Flood Inundation from Street to Continental Scales

Professor Paul Bates
5th April 2016, 8:00pm

In recent years, developments in numerical algorithms, parallel computing and remotely sensed data capture have allowed an unprecedented increase in the complexity of surface water routing models. In this lecture Professor Paul Bates of the University of Bristol will discuss these advances and show how new models allow flood inundation modelling of urban areas down to 10cm resolution and, with larger grid sizes, of the whole globe. This science is transforming our ability to manage floods, finance insurance schemes and respond to humanitarian disasters.


About the Speaker

Paul obtained a BSc in Geography from Southampton University in 1989, and a PhD from the University of Bristol in 1992 working with Professor Malcolm Anderson. His PhD research analysed finite element methods for modelling flood flows, a theme he continued during postdoctoral research funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the Laboratoire Saint Venant in Paris where he worked with Jean-Michel Hervouet. In 1995 he was appointed to a Lectureship in Physical Geography at the University of Bristol. In August 2013 he was appointed Head of the School of Geographical Sciences.

Paul is a hydrologist by background, but has widespread research interests in risk, resilience, uncertainty, governance and decision-making in relation to natural hazards and global water issues. Paul’s main science contribution has been to improve the prediction of flood inundation through the development of new computer models, the use of data from new airborne, satellite and ground sensors and through the better characterization of risk and uncertainty.