On 28 June 2012, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, was hit by a large convective storm delivering 45 mm of rain in less than two hours. Although not large on a world scale, the event had a big local impact. Widespread areas of the city were inundated and traffic was blocked in and around the city for about 6 hours. The following morning there was very small amount of visible evidence that the event happened. To gather data about the event through crowd sourcing Newcastle University organised and publicised a web page inviting public to upload their flood photographs, pin them on the map and optionally write a comment. In a more classical manner Newcastle City Council sent questionnaires to all the residents in the streets from which they received any reports about the flood and asked them to describe the flood in and around their properties. Data gathered from these sources were used to validate and calibrate the model of this event simulated using the hydrodynamic modelling software CityCAT developed at Newcastle University. CityCAT combines very accurate numerical methods with advanced software architecture providing both ease of use and accuracy in performance. Combination of those two main properties enables modelling of complex flow situations such as propagation of shocks and flows over initially dry areas, commonly in urban flash floods. Agreement between the gathered data and modelling results was satisfying at a majority of places when reduced rainfall input accounting for the drainage network was used. Crowd-sourced data, photographs and questionnaires, have proven to be effective tools in model calibration/validation.
Kutija, Vedrana; Bertsch, Robert; Glenis, Vassilis; Alderson, David; Parkin, Geoff; Walsh, Claire; Robinson, John; and Kilsby, Chris, "Model Validation Using Crowd-Sourced Data From A Large Pluvial Flood" (2014). CUNY Academic Works.