Progress in developing continental and global scale flood inundation models

Name of the Speaker: Prof. Paul D Bates

Title of the Seminar: Progress in developing continental and global scale flood inundation models

Date and Time: 02 March 2022 (Wednesday), 4:00pm

Online Platform: MS Teams [link to  the video of the seminar]

About the Speaker: Paul Bates FRS is Professor of Hydrology at the University of Bristol, UK and Chairman of Fathom ( He is one of the world’s leading experts in the modelling of flood inundation with widespread research interests in risk, resilience, uncertainty, governance and decision making in relation to natural hazards and global water issues. His main area of study is to develop new numerical solutions to the Shallow Water equations and combines these with satellite and airborne data to advance our fundamental understanding of flood dynamics and reduce threats to life and economic losses worldwide. Previously, he was Director of the Cabot Institute and Head of the School of Geographical Sciences at Bristol and has spent sabbatical periods at Laboratoire National d’Hydraulique et Environnment in Paris, the EU Joint Research Centre, Princeton University and the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab at CALTECH. He has published over 240 papers in International peer reviewed journals and has an ISI H-Index of 80 and a Google Scholar H-Index of 100.

He is a lifetime Fellow of the Royal Society of London and the American Geophysical Union, a Royal Society Wolfson Research Award holder and in 2019 was awarded a CBE by Queen Elizabeth II for services to flood risk management. Through his work with insurers, charities and NGOs the data sets created using methods developed by his team are used to reduce risks to life and economic losses for hundreds of millions of people globally.

Abstract: Flooding is one of the most costly natural disasters and every year affects tens of millions of people and causes billions of dollars in losses, and the most damaging events have affect very large areas. Despite this, the reality is that all flood impacts are felt locally and occur at the level of individual properties. The ultimate challenge in flood modelling therefore is how to provide detailed and skilful hazard and risk predictions at the scale of individual buildings over whole continents or even the whole globe. This talk describes recent efforts at the University of Bristol in the UK to build a two dimensional hydrodynamic model at 90m resolution covering the entire planet and 30m over the parts of the US, Europe and the UK, both for current conditions and future climates. The talk describes the technical challenges and also detailed validation studies which demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of this type of model.

Here is a nice image to go with the talk.

Date(s) - 02/03/2022
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research (ICWaR) - IISc Bangalore