WATERSHED MODELING FOR DISASTER RESPONSE:
Jiabao Guan and Mustafa M. Aral
In this case, although it is related, WMD does not stand for Weapons for
Mass Destruction. In this case WMD-R stands for Watershed Modeling
for Disaster Response.
Modeling for Disaster Response (WMD-R) is a Geographic Information
Systems (GIS) based computational platform through which users will be able to
study migration of contaminants at a watershed scale. The computational platform
uses standard GIS environment with the models necessary to simulate the
contaminant fate and transport processes running on a Visual BasicTM
environment at the background. The computational steps can be activated through
a menu-button control environment similar to other options of the GIS system
(Figure on the right).
platform makes use of the standard digital elevation raster images to extract
the elevations and land cover raster
maps to extract the land cover information. This database is automatically
transferred to the mesh generated over a selected portion of the map in which
the analysis will be performed. The program first generates the watershed scale
flow net based on the digital elevation data (Figure below) followed by the
calculation of overland and channel flow features of the topography. This
outcome is then linked to contaminant fate and transport models where the
contaminant transport characteristics of the watershed is generated based on a
contaminant source that maybe released at a certain point in the watershed. This
watershed maybe an urban or a rural region.
This modeling environment is primarily developed for the analysis of contaminants that
maybe released to the environment due to a disaster event that may occur
at a watershed such as nuclear accidents or terror events. The
computational platform is user friendly and uses many features on
software described in other web pages of
the MESL program at Georgia Tech..
In a risk evaluation process, one must link contaminants originating from
numerous contaminant sources to multimedia fate and transport processes and
finally to human or
ecological exposure to these contaminants through multimedia pathways in a
comprehensive sequence of studies. After that stage of analysis is completed, toxicological impact of these contaminants
can be analyzed. In the spectrum of events that can be considered in this process,
numerous numerical and/or analytical models. These computational tools
also include capability for uncertainty analysis. The ACTS computational
platform described in other web pages of this site, in a comprehensive way, serves that purpose. The
WMD-R platform is a more specific and goal oriented computational platform where a
watershed scale analysis can be performed.
advances in information technology have rendered numerous computational tools
readily available for engineers and scientists. As modelers we should make use
of these platforms to enhance our modeling environments.
This project is funded by Centers for Disease Control (CDC/ATSDR) under
Exposure-Dose Reconstruction Research Program.
the software is fully tested and it receives the approval of the sponsoring
agency for clearance it will be made available for public domain use through the
MESL web site.
Aral, M.M. and Guan, J (2005).
"Computational Platforms for Environmental Modeling," Proceedings ASCE,EWRI World
Water and Environmental Resources Congress: Impacts of Global Climate Change, Anchorage, Alaska, May, 15-19.