Assessment of the effects of multiple extreme floods on flow and transport processes under competing flood protection and environmental management strategies.

Research paper by Tongbi T Tu, Kara J KJ Carr, Ali A Ercan, Toan T Trinh, M Levent ML Kavvas, John J Nosacka

Indexed on: 15 Jul '17Published on: 15 Jul '17Published in: Science of the Total Environment


Extreme floods are regarded as one of the most catastrophic natural hazards and can result in significant morphological changes induced by pronounced sediment erosion and deposition processes over the landscape. However, the effects of extreme floods of different return intervals on the floodplain and river channel morphological evolution with the associated sediment transport processes are not well explored. Furthermore, different basin management action plans, such as engineering structure modifications, may also greatly affect the flood inundation, sediment transport, solute transport and morphological processes within extreme flood events. In this study, a coupled two-dimensional hydrodynamic, sediment transport and morphological model is applied to evaluate the impact of different river and basin management strategies on the flood inundation, sediment transport dynamics and morphological changes within extreme flood events of different magnitudes. The 10-year, 50-year, 100-year and 200-year floods are evaluated for the Lower Cache Creek system in California under existing condition and a potential future modification scenario. Modeling results showed that select locations of flood inundation within the study area tend to experience larger inundation depth and more sediment is likely to be trapped in the study area under potential modification scenario. The proposed two dimensional flow and sediment transport modeling approach implemented with a variety of inflow conditions can provide guidance to decision-makers when considering implementation of potential modification plans, especially as they relate to competing management strategies of large water bodies, such as the modeling area in this study.