Flood

Serious gaming and flood risk communication in Gemini.no

The Norwegian scientific magazine covers news on technology, environment, natural sciences, innovation, and society among other topics. This week they released a news article on World of Wild Waters and our focus on the use of serious gaming for a successful dissemination of flood risk.

Foto Anne Jørgensen Bruland_20170724_080512
Documentation on the flood event affecting the municipality of Utvik in July 2017, where WoWW’s project leader and his family, among many others, were affected (Photo: Anne Jørgensen Bruland)

The original article, written in Norwegian, can be briefly summarized into:

i) the flood event in Utvik (2017) was the starting point and where the World of Wild Waters started. Our project leader, a hydrologist that noticed a potential risk in his hometown, warned the local authorities with no response in return.

ii) the need of effective (in a precise yet understandable manner to non-experts) flood risk communication was identified.

iii) advanced hydrologic and hydraulic knowledge needed to be gathered and embedded into a serious gaming platform. Seven PhD candidates started their journey to make this possible. However, the final product will be incomplete without the collaboration of external partners from the gaming industry. The sooner these partners step in, the sooner the municipalities and decision-makers will benefit from this user-friendly flood risk assessment and communication tool.

immersive experiences

WoWW’s project leader interviewed by Lørn.Tech

Oddbjørn Bruland was recently hosted on Lørn Tech, a podcast covering top technology topics in Norway, such as Gaming, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Block Chain, Big Data or Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR), among many others. Sunniva Rose, a well known nuclear physicist in Norway, conducted the interview on the topic VR.AR, very relevant to our project.

In the podcast (translated to “Wet, Wild and Virtual“, which are World of Wild Waters’ keywords par excellence), Oddbjørn talks about the concept of Serious Gaming and introduces our project’s goals and how uniquely multidisciplinary our team is.

Original podcast (in Norwegian)

The scientific community is already very familiar with advanced hydraulic simulations and writing long and dull reports presenting the simulated results. However, such reports might not have the desired impact when presented to decision-makers and stakeholders that oftentimes do not have such hydraulic engineering background. As highlighted during the interview, World of Wild Waters attempts to bridge this communication gap. Our goal is, primarily, to facilitate scientific dissemination of natural hazards by presenting the flood and landslide scenarios through exciting and realistic simulations within the framework of a virtual environment. This is expected to improve sound decision-making and save lives and cost.

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Example of mixed reality (VR+AR) used in flood risk communication (Photo: The Weather Channel)

We are always happy to talk in further detail about what we do in WoWW, and we appreciate Lørn.Tech’s invitation to their podcast.

conference

22nd Northern Research Basins conference (Yellowknife, Canada)

The 22nd Northern Research Basins Symposium/Workshop was held in Yellowknife, Canada (by the Great Slave lake, one of the 10 largest fresh water lakes on the planet), from August 18th to August 24th 2019. There, Oddbjørn (project leader) and Adina (work package 2) presented their research regarding hydrology and hydraulics of flash floods in steep rivers.

Oddbjørn’s presentation was titled “Extreme flood in small steep catchments: how extreme can it become?” and covered the complex hydrology around the flood event that affected his hometown, Utvik, exactly two years ago, in July 2017. Also, several recent flood events affecting the southwest of Norway were presented. The take-home message was that these events are more extreme and more recurring than ever as northern regions are suffering a global warming trend. Adina’s presentation, on the other hand, tackled a virtual experiment on “River idealization for identification of critical locations in steep rivers using 2D hydrodynamic modelling and GIS“. This allows correlating hydrologic and topographic parameters to sensitive areas worth focusing on during more detailed studies (such as channel bends) without the interference of case-specific conditions. The study is time and cost-saving oriented, aiming at optimizing flood risk analysis.

A pannel of discussion was organized on the last two days, which led to very enriching and insightful discussion regarding how to better collaborate and achieve synergies among local field knowledge and the scientific community. Attendees were indigenous experts, the scientists presenting during the conference and the local pannelists invited.

The conference agenda included social activities, such as a boat trip to visit the indigenous Dene community nearby, learn about their traditions and how to use natural and forest resources and appreciate what nature has to offer. We got the chance to go on a guided tour around artsy Yellowknife, always accompanied by live fiddle music. Lastly, a banquet was held and a visit to Scotty creek closed the conference on Saturday.

conference

Coming soon: 22nd NRB conference – Canada

WoWW’s project leader, Oddbjørn Bruland, and Adina will present at the 22nd Northern Research Basins Symposium/Workshop held in Yellowknife, Canada, from August 18th to August 24th.

Oddbjørn’s presentation is titled “How extreme can specific runoff become in steep Norwegian catchments?” and covers the complex hydrology around the flood event that affected his hometown, Utvik, exactly two years ago, in July 2017. This data has been used to simulate the hydraulics and morphodynamics of the affected rivers both in Utvik and the neighbour village, Innvik, in the poster Michal and Oddbjørn presented at EGU in April this year.

Oddbjørn Bruland in Utvik during the flood event of July 2017 (Photo: Hallgeir Vågenes VG)

Adina’s presentation is titled “River idealization for identification of critical locations in steep rivers using 2D hydrodynamic modelling and GIS” and tackles the characterization of any named steep river’s susceptibility to changing conditions, such as extreme rainfalls. The preliminary idealization of scenarios allows to detect parameters and sensitive areas worth focusing on during more detailed studies (such as channel bends) without the interference of case-specific hydrologic and topographic conditions. The study is time and cost-saving oriented, aiming at optimizing flood risk analysis.

Both presentations will take place on the first day of the conference, Monday 18th of August. We will update with anecdotes on this event; stay tuned!

Flood

W.A.T.E.R. 2019 – Advanced hydraulic measurement techniques

The last week of June has been very enriching for Adina, Michal and Nitesh, as they attended the 4th Workshop on Advanced measurement Techniques and Experimental Research (W.A.T.E.R.) in Bologna, Italy. This edition was organized by the University of Bologna, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the IAHR Experimental Methods and Instrumentation Committee (EMI) The workshop was focused on experimental methods applied in different hydraulics fields and combined theoretical sessions and hands-on measurement exercises in the laboratory.

Besides the different laboratory sessions (i.e. Particle Tracking Velocimetry, Particle Image Velocimetry, Acoustic Doppler Velocimetry, Laser Doppler Anemometry, Ultrasonic Pulse Velocimetry, Wave Gauges Pressure Transducers) held at the Laboratory of Hydraulic Engineering (LIDR-DICAM), a field trip to River Po Interregional Agency (AIPO, Boretto) was organized. There, measurements velocity profiles and river bed topography were taken by means of a UAV (Unmanned Aquatic Vehicle) with mounted ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler), as well as a survey boat tour. Different scale hydraulic laboratory experiments were also visited.

Adina and Michal had the opportunity to present their research during the peer-2-peer session. Adina talked about the Optimization of hydrodynamic simulations in steep rivers, whereas Michal focused on Erosion protection in steep rivers.

The feedback received during their presentation, as well as the knowledge acquired regarding the different techniques, are of great value to the World of Wild Waters. For instance, fieldwork campaigns and laboratory experiments will be implemented for data gathering, callibration of hydromorphodynamic simulations and further flood risk analysis of selected study cases at different spatio-temporal scales. Getting to know new methodology has extended Work Package 2’s perspective on both optical and acoustic state-of-the-art laboratory and field measurement equipment.