A GIS-Based Simulation Application to Model Surface Runoff Level in Urban Blocks

Naduni Wijayawardana, Chethika Abenayake, Amila Jayasinghe, L.D.C.H.N. Kalpana, Nuwan Dias, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Simulation of flood inundation in urban areas longer important, given the magnitude of potential loss and disruption associated with non-river based, urban flooding. The complexity of the urban environment and lack of high-resolution topographic and hydrologic data compromise the development and implementation of models. Low impact development (LID) is technical know-how on a collection of sustainable practices that mimic natural hydrological functions including infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of surface runoff. Several studies have been carried out to discuss the impact of urbanization scenarios in reducing the urban flood risk in watershed scale in Sri Lanka. Yet, there is a gap remains in simulating the effectiveness of LID-based planning practices to reduce flood risk with the complex built form scenarios. In such a situation, this study attempts to make a significant contribution to simulate the variations of flood regulation functions under different high-intensive urban development scenarios, particularly focusing on the urban metropolitan regions. The analyses were carried out utilizing SWMM (Storm Water Management Model) which is open-source flood inundation simulation approach with the help of GIS in a more qualitative manner. The simulation results indicate that expanding built form scenarios increase the flood venerability for city functions, increasing inundation duration and LID scenarios able to reduce the surface runoff to reduce flood vulnerability at a significant level. The simulation results had been verified with the real ground situation (mean percentage change < 15.5%) which able to capture the thresholds of built form variation, as well as dynamic land uses and infrastructure supply which can be used as a tool for future planning practices and decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-66
Number of pages11
JournalFARU Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020


  • floods
  • low impact development
  • urban planning regulations
  • GIS-based simulation
  • built form


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