These geophysical flow events are difficult to observe and measure. They are also very complex to model because they involve:
- movement of solids and fluids in large volumes over large areas
- many kinds of physical processes
- events occurring over an expanse of time and space.
CSIRO has been developing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods, specifically particle-based smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code and granular flow (GF) code, to accurately model events like dam breaks and tsunamis using real three-dimensional (3D) topography obtained from digital terrain models. Using real topographic information means the results can be directly compared with disaster scenarios. Particle-based methods for modelling geophysical flows have numerous advantages over traditional grid or mesh-based continuum methods....Projects currently being undertaking using these methods include:
- refining a 3D simulation of the 1928 St Francis Dam break in California. Results from the computer simulation agree closely with historical data about damage from the real event.
- modelling the hypothetical collapse of China's Geheyan Dam, one of the world's largest dams. This project is a collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping.
- simulating a hypothetical flood of the Bellinger River in NSW, due to a storm surge
- predicting areas affected by a hypothetical tsunami inundating the Californian coastline
- dynamic prediction of flooding in several Australian cities due to dam breaks, tsunamis, floods and other disasters….