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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-180
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-180
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 17 Jun 2019

Research article | 17 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Flood Inundation Mapping of Low-, Medium-, and High-Flow Events Using the AutoRoute Model

Michael L. Follum1, Ahmad A. Tavakoly1,2, Joseph L. Gutenson1,3, and Ricardo Vera4 Michael L. Follum et al.
  • 1Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, Engineer Research and Development Center, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180, USA
  • 2Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20740, USA
  • 3National Water Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 205 Hackberry Ln, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, USA
  • 4Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Engineer Research and Development Center, 72 Lyme Road, Hanover, NH 03755, USA

Abstract. This article presents improvements and development of a post-processing module for the regional scale flood mapping tool, AutoRoute. The accuracy of this model to simulate low, medium, and high flow rate scenarios is demonstrated at seven test sites within the U.S. AutoRoute is one of the tools used to create high-resolution flood inundation maps at regional- to continental-scales. The model has previously only been tested using extreme flood events. In this article flood inundation results for low-flow events are shown to be accurate (average F value of 63.3 %) but tend to be overestimated, especially in flatter terrain. Higher-flow scenarios tend to be more accurately simulated (average F value of 77.5 %). Additionally, modifications to the AutoRoute model and post-processing scripts are shown to improve computational efficiency (i.e. simulation time) by over 40 % when compared to previous versions. With improved computational efficiency and the ability to accurately simulate both low and high flow scenarios the AutoRoute model may be well suited to provide first-order estimates of flooding within an operational, regional- to continental-scale hydrologic modelling framework.

Michael L. Follum et al.
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Michael L. Follum et al.
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Short summary
AutoRoute is one of the tools used by the U.S. Military to create high-resolution flood inundation maps at regional- to continental-scales. Although proven to be useful in simulating floods in remote regions of the world, the accuracy of the model has had only limited testing for non-extreme flood cases. This paper presents improvements to AutoRoute to accurately simulate both extreme and non-extreme flood cases while improving the applicability in a production setting.
AutoRoute is one of the tools used by the U.S. Military to create high-resolution flood...
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