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Christos Iliadis

Analysing precipitation extremes in a changing climate.

Project title

A new paradigm for urban flood design storms accounting for variability in space and time under climate change


Project description

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are funding this research as part of the Water Infrastructure and Resilience (WIRe) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) program. Newcastle University is a consortium partner.

The extent and severity of the damage caused by urban floods is a product of the intensity and duration of the rainfall, variable in space and time. The rainfall’s interaction with the complex flowpaths of a city, on the surface and below ground, is also a major factor.

Resilient design of urban drainage under climate change is essential. But it is currently blocked by the lack of a realistic design storm methodology. Conventionally, Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) curves based on point rainfall measurements are used. Such use of single events with standard profiles in time and uniform in space is unrealistic. Individual storm events in large urban areas show great variation in key properties. Their spatial distribution and sequencing can interact with critical pathways and vulnerable areas in cities.

The main aim of this research is to analyse precipitation extremes in a changing climate using:

  • high resolution climate model outputs
  • advanced stochastic modelling methodologies
  • the CityCAT urban flood modelling system