Analysis and control of extreme events using Wetropolis flood demonstrator

The Wetropolis flood demonstrator [1] is a portable set-up designed to provide the general public a visualisation of what a return period is for extreme rainfall and flooding events. In general, people have difficulty comprehending what it means when a flood is classified as a 1 in 100 year flood. It means that, on average, a flood of that magnitude, based on data analysis and extreme-value theory, occurs once in 100 years, not that once such a flood happens, it takes another 100 years for a flood of the magnitude to happen again. Wetropolis showcases extreme rainfall and flood events with a 1 in 6:06min return period, short enough to wait for on average 6:06min and long enough to appreciate that it is a rare event on the time scale of viewing the set-up. Unexpectedly, Wetropolis drew the attention of flood professionals and academics, who suggested to use it for research on flood control [2], data assimilation [2], effects of climate change, education and as a flood-science policy tool, the latter which we have developed ourselves [3]. The project allows exploration of research in these various directions, to be determined by the prospective CDT student within the team. 

Fig. 1 Overview cartoon of the Wetropolis Flood Demonstrator during a showcasing.