FLOOD REGIMES IN CANADA: LEARNING FROM THE PAST AND PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Theme 1 will advance our knowledge of flood regimes in Canada (past, present and projected future) and provide guidelines for infrastructure design.  This work is important to FloodNet since improved understanding of extreme events in Canada, both present and future, is required to design flood control infrastructure, plan for flood mitigation systems, and appropriately implement land use planning to minimize the economic and social impacts of flood events.  The increased understanding of extreme events to be obtained in this theme will contribute to the design of the flood forecasting system to be developed in Theme 3 and help with the analysis of flood impacts in Theme 4.

THEME LEADER:
Professor Donald H. Burn (University of Waterloo)
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Email:  dhburn@uwaterloo.ca

CO-LEADER:
Professor Van-Thanh-Van Nguyen (McGill University)
Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics
Email:  van.tv.nguyen@mcgill.ca

PROJECT 1-1

UPDATE OF CURRENT FLOOD AND STORM QUANTILES

LEADER:

Dr. Donald H. Burn (University of Waterloo)
Email:  dhburn@uwaterloo.ca

CO-INVESTIGATORS:

Dr. Fahim Ashkar (Université de Moncton)
Email:  ashkarf@umoncton.ca

Dr. Peter Rasmussen - In Memoriam (University of Manitoba)
Email:  -

Objective: Characterize the current flood and extreme precipitation regimes for selected locations across Canada and provide updated estimates for extreme event frequency curves.

Significance:  Extreme events cause considerable damage to Canadian infrastructure and result in property damages as well as loss of life.  It is hence essential that we are able to accurately estimate the probability of exceedance of extreme events to design appropriate infrastructure to protect humans and property from the impacts of extreme events.  

Outcomes:  The outcomes from this project will include updated estimates for flood and extreme rainfall quantiles for many locations across Canada as well as a unified procedure for applying frequency analysis that reflects the diversity of hydrologic and meteorological conditions in Canada.

Publications

PROJECT 1-2

EXAMINATION OF SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIATION OF EXTREME EVENTS

LEADER:

Dr. Fahim Ashkar (Université de Moncton)

Email:  ashkarf@umoncton.ca

CO-INVESTIGATORS:

Dr. Donald Burn (University of Waterloo)

Email:  dhburn@uwaterloo.ca

Dr. Thian Gan (University of Alberta)

Email:  tgan@ualberta.ca

Objectives: Describing the spatial distribution of extreme rainfall and flood events with specified risk (return period); assessing whether and how changes in extreme events are occurring over time in various geographic regions of Canada; identifying regions where seasonal variations in flood flows need to be incorporated into the flood modelling due to the presence of distinct flood sub-populations.

Significance:  Increases in storm intensity over time have substantial implications on water resources infrastructure. Assessing the spatial distribution of extreme events (rainfall, floods) allows the identification of regions with significantly heavier rainfall, for example, or regions more prone to flooding. Taking proper account of seasonal variations in flood flows helps achieve improved estimates of low-frequency/large-magnitude extreme events.

Outcomes:  Outcomes from this project include: i) the identification of geographic regions within Canada in which water resources infrastructure might be particularly prone to high risk of severe rainfall or flooding; ii) the identification of regions in which distinct flood sub-populations are present and for which bias reductions in flood estimates could be achieved by taking proper account of flood sub-populations; and iii) a simplified method to apply the POT approach for the purpose of extreme flood and rainfall event estimation by practitioners.

Publications

PROJECT 1-3

ANALYSIS AND APPLICABILITY OF FUTURE EXTREME EVENTS IN REGIONAL AND LOCAL CONTEXT

LEADER:

Dr. Altaf Arain (McMaster University)
Email:  arainm@mcmaster.ca

CO-INVESTIGATORS:

Dr. Thian Gan (University of Alberta)
Email:  tgan@ualberta.ca

Dr. Paulin Coulibaly (McMaster University)
Email:  couliba@mcmaster.ca

Objectives:  Assess the spatial variability of observed and simulated extreme precipitation events in selected regions across Canada and investigate the limitations and applicability of various indices used to describe extreme precipitation events at local scales for both current and future climate.

Significance:  The proposed work will help to determine whether spatial trends in extreme precipitation have been adequately simulated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) participating climate models for future climate scenarios and how these simulations may be applied at a local scale.  The extreme precipitation indices will be used in Project 1-5 and Project 4-3 to predict changes to flood prone areas and to evaluate the resilience of storm management infrastructure, respectively.

Outcomes:  The outcomes of this project will include estimates of extreme precipitation indices for current and future conditions for a variety of locations across Canada and an indication of the expected changes for future conditions.   The project will also develop and evaluate new extreme precipitation indices.

Publications

Chen, S., Gan. T.Y., Tan, X., Shao, D. & J. Zhu (2019) Assessment of CFSR, ERA-Interim, JRA-55, MERRA-2, NCEP-2 reanalysis data for drought analysis over China. Climate Dynamics. 53(1-2), 737-757.

Ganguli, P. & P. Coulibaly (2017) Does nonstationarity in rainfall require nonstationary intensity- duration-frequency curves? Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21, 6461-6483.

Ganguli, P. & P. Coulibaly (2019) Assessment of future changes in intensity-duration-frequency curves for Southern Ontario using North American (NA)-CORDEX models with nonstationary methods, Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 22 (100587), 1-21.

Gizaw, M.S. & T.Y. Gan (2016) Possible impact of climate change on future extreme precipitation of the Oldman, Bow and Red Deer River Basins of Alberta. International Journal of Climatology, 36(1), 208-224.

Jiang, R., Gan, T.Y., Xie, J., Wang, N. & C.-C.Kuo (2017) Historical and potential changes of precipitation and temperature of Alberta subjected to climate change impact: 1900–2100. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 127(3-4), 725-739.

Jiang, R., Wang, X., Xie, J. & T.Y. Gan (2018) Discussion of "Uses of precipitation-based climate indices in drought characterization" by Chandramouli V. Chandramouli, Nicholas Kaoukis, Mohammad Karim, and Leslie Dorworth. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 23(9): 07018008.

Kuo, C. C., Gan, T. Y. & M. Gizaw (2015) Potential impact of climate change on intensity duration frequency curves of central Alberta. Climatic Change, 130(2), 115-129.

Kuo, C.-C. & T. Gan (2015) Risk of exceeding extreme design storm events under possible impact of climate change. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 20(12), 4015038.

Kuo, C. C., Gan, T. & K. Higuchi (2017) Evaluation of Future Streamflow Patterns in Lake Simcoe Subbains Based on Ensembles of Statistical Downscaling. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 22(9), 04017028.

Kuo, C.-C. and T.Y. Gan (2018) Estimation of precipitation and air temperature over western Canada using a regional climate model. International Journal of Climatology, 38(14), 5125-5135.

Li, J., Chen, D., Gan, T.Y. & N.C. Lau (2018) Elevated increases in human-perceived temperature under climate warming. Nature Climate Change, 8, 43-47.

Mahmoud, S. & T.Y. Gan (2018) Multi-criteria approach to develop flood susceptibility maps in arid regions of Middle East. Journal of Cleaner Production, 196, 216-229.

Mahmoud, S. & T.Y. Gan (2018) Long-term impact of rapid urbanization on urban climate and human thermal comfort in hot-arid environment. Building and Environment, 142, 83-100.

Mahmoud, S. & T.Y. Gan (2018) Urbanization and climate change implications in flood risk management: Developing an efficient decision support system for flood susceptibility mapping. Science of  the Total Environment, 636, 152-167.

Mahmoud, S. & T.Y. Gan (2018) Impact of anthropogenic climate change and human activities on environment and ecosystem services in arid regions. Scienct of the the Total Environment, 633, 1329-1344.

Mahmoud, S. & T.Y. Gan (2019) Irrigation water management in arid regions of Middle East: Assessing spatio-temporal variation of actual evapotranspiration through remote sensing techniques and meteorological data. Agricultural Water Management, 212, 35-47.

Scheepers, H., Wang, J., Gan, T.Y., & C. Kuo, C (2018) The impact of climate change on inland waterway transport: effects of low water levels on the Mackenzie River. Journal of Hydrology, 566, 285-298.

Tan, X., Chen, S. & T.Y. Gan (2018) Multi-model extreme event attribution of the weather conducive to the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 260-261, 109-117.

Tan, X., Chen, S., Gan, T.Y., Liu, B. & X. Chen (2019) Dynamic and thermodynamic changes conducive to the increased occurrence of extreme spring fire weather over western Canada under possible anthropogenic climate change. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 265, 269-279.

Tan, X. & T.Y. Gan (2015) Nonstationary analysis of annual maximum streamflow of Canada. Journal of Climate, 28(5), 1788-1805.

Tan, X. & T.Y. Gan (2016) Contribution of human and climate change impacts to changes in streamflow of Canada. Scientific Reports, 5, 17767, 1-10.

Tan, X. & T.Y. Gan (2017) Multifractality of Canadian precipitation and streamflow International Journal of Climatology, 37, 1221-1236.

Tan, X. & T.Y. Gan (2017) Non-stationary analysis of the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation over Canada and their relations to large-scale climate patterns. Climate Dynamics, 48(9-10), 2983-3001.

Tan, X., Gan, T.Y., Chen, S., Horton, D.E., Chen, X., Liu, B. & K. Lin (2019) Trends in Persistent Seasonal-Scale Atmospheric Circulation Patterns Responsible for Seasonal Precipitation Totals and Occurrences of Precipitation Extremes over Canada. Journal of Climate, 32(21), 7105-7126.

Tan, X., Gan, T.Y., & S. Chen (2018) Modeling distributional changes in winter precipitation of Canada using Bayesian spatiotemporal quantile regression subjected to different teleconnections, Climate Dynamics, 52(3-4), 2105-2124.

Tan, X., Gan, T.Y., & Y.D. Chen (2018) Moisture sources and pathways associated with the spatial variability of seasonal extreme precipitation over Canada. Climate Dynamics, 50(1-2), 629-640.

Tan, X., Gan, T.Y., & Y.D. Chen (2019) Synoptic moisture pathways associated with mean and extreme precipitation over Canada for summer and fall. Climate Dynamics, 52(5-6), 2959-2979.

Tan, X., Gan, T.Y., & Y.D. Chen (2019) Synoptic moisture pathways associated with mean and extreme precipitation over Canada for winter and spring. Climate Dynamics, 53(5-6), 2663-2681.

Tan, X., Gan, T.Y. & D.E. Horton (2017) Projected timing of perceivable changes in climate extremes for terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Global Change Biology, 24(10), 4696-4708.

Tan, X., Gan, T.Y. & D. Shao (2016) Wavelet analysis of precipitation extremes over Canadian ecoregions and teleconnections to large-scale climate anomalies. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(24), 14469-14486.

Tan, X., Gan, T.Y. & D. Shao (2017) Effects of persistence and large-scale climate anomalies on trends and change points in extreme precipitation of Canada. Journal of Hydrology, 550, 453-465.

Tariku, T.B. & T.Y. Gan (2018) Regional climate change impact on extreme precipitation and temperature of the Nile river basin. Climate Dynamics, 51(9-10), 3487-3506.

Wazneh, H., Chebana, F. & T.B.M.J. Ouarda (2016) Identification of hydrological neighborhoods for regional flood frequency analysis using statistical depth function. Advances in Water Resources 94, 251-163.

Wazneh, H., Arain, A. & P. Coulibaly (2017) Historical spatial and temporal climate trends in Southern Ontario, Canada. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 56(10), 2767-2787.

Yang, Y., Gan, T.Y. & X. Tan (2019) Spatiotemporal Changes in Precipitation Extremes over Canada and Their Teleconnections to Large-Scale Climate Patterns. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 20(2), 275-296.

Yang, Y., Gan, T.Y. & X. Tan (2020) Spatiotemporal changes of drought characteristics and dynamic influences of climate patternsin Canada. Atmospheric Research, 232.

PROJECT 1-4

DEVELOPMENT OF NEW METHODS FOR UPDATED IDF CURVES IN CANADA

LEADER:

Dr. Van-Thanh-Van Nguyen (McGill University)
Email:  van.tv.nguyen@mcgill.ca

CO-INVESTIGATORS:

Dr. Yiping Guo (McMaster University)
Email:  guoy@mcmaster.ca

Dr. Thian Gan (University of Alberta)
Email:  tgan@ualberta.ca

Dr. Amin Elshorbagy (University of Saskatchewan)
Email:  amin.elshorbagy@usask.ca

Objectives: Evaluate climate change impact on Intensity‐Duration‐Frequency (IDF) curves of selected Canadian cities and develop new regional IDF curves for selected cities of Canada.

Significance:  Climate change could modify the extreme events that form the basis for the existing IDF curves of various Canadian cities, which means that the municipal infrastructure designed based on current IDF curves could suffer from under-design problems resulting in compromised public safety.

Outcomes:  (i) New regional and at-site IDF curves for selected sites in Canada developed from statistical and dynamical downscaling of climate change scenarios; and (ii) Guidelines for updating IDF curves in Canada. There is an urgent need to update IDF curves in Canada as the IDF curves for most locations in Canada do not reflect the most recently available data and do not account for the impacts of climate change.  The proposed guidelines will provide direction to municipalities, conservation authorities and other users of IDF curves to enable the updating of IDF curves in a timely manner using appropriate procedures.

Publications

Hassanzadeh, E., Nazemi, A., Adamowski, J., Nguyen, T-H. & V-T-V. Nugyen (2019) Quantile-based downscaling of rainfall extremes: Notes on methodological functionality, associated uncertainty and application in practice. Advances in Water Resources, 131, 103371.

Herath, S.M., Sarukkalige, P. & V-T-V. Nguyen (2016) A spatial temporal downscaling approach to development of IDF relations for Perth airport region in the context of climate change. Hydrological Sciences Journal 61(11), 2061-2070.

Herath, S., Sarukkalige, P. & V-T-V. Nguyen (2018) Evaluation of empirical relationships between extreme rainfall and daily maximum temperature in Australia. Journal of Hydrology, 556, 1171–1181.

Khalili, M. & V-T-V. Nguyen (2017) An efficient statistical approach to multi-site downscaling of daily precipitation series in the context of climate change. Climate Dynamics 49(7-8), 2261-2278.

Khalili, M. & V-T-V. Nguyen (2018) Efficient statistical approach to multisite downscaling of extreme temperature series using singular-value decomposition technique. ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 23(6), 10 pages.

Khalili, M. & V-T-V. Nguyen (2018) A perfect prognosis approach for daily precipitation series in consideration of space-time correlation structure. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 32(12), 3333-3364.

Nguyen, T-H. & V-T-V. Nguyen (2019) Decision-Support Tool for Constructing Robust Rainfall IDF Relations in Consideration of Model Uncertainty. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 24(7), 06019004.

Nguyen, V-T-V & T-H. Nguyen (2016) Statistical modeling of extreme rainfall processes (SMExRain): A decision support tool for extreme rainfall frequency analyses. Procedia Engineering 154, 624-630.

Nguyen, T-H., El Outayek, S., Lim, S-H. & V-T-V. Nguyen (2017) A systematic approach to selecting the best probability models for annual maximum rainfalls – A case study using data in Ontario (Canada). Journal of Hydrology 553, 49-58.

Ranzi R., Nalder G., Ahmed A., Ball J., De Costa G.S., Galvao, C., Jia Y., Kim Y.O., Kolokytha, E., Lee S., Nakakita E., Nguyen, V-T-V., Paquier A., Pate, P. & R. Teegavarapu (2015) Summary of recommendations for policy makers on adaptation to climate change in water engineering. Hydrolink (3), 93-95.

Yeo M-H. & V-T-V. Nguyen (2015) A statistical approach to downscaling of daily rainfall process at an ungauged site. In P. Gourbesville (Ed.), Advances in Hydroinformatics, Chapter 20, 285-298, Springer Water Publ.

PROJECT 1-5

SPATIAL CHANGES TO FLOOD PRONE AREAS IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS

LEADER:

Dr. Andrew Binns (University of Western Ontario)
Email:  abinns2@uwo.ca

CO-INVESTIGATORS:

Dr. Yiping Guo (McMaster University)
Email:  guoy@mcmaster.ca

Dr. Amaury Tilmant (Université Laval)
Email:  amaury.tilmant@gci.ulaval.ca

Objectives: To predict spatial changes to flood prone areas in urban environments as a result of changing environmental and hydrological factors.

Significance: This project will lead to a greater understanding of the relationship between flooding and land-use in urban environments. Results from this research will provide improved guidance for future urban development with the goal of protecting existing infrastructure and reducing the economic loss associated with flooding.  Results will also assist in the planning and development of flood mitigation measures, including more effective stormwater management measures.

Outcomes: The outcomes from this project will include: i) updated urban development guidelines to minimize risk of flooding; ii) an evaluation of the effectiveness of various stormwater management (SWM) features; iii) recommendations for retrofit SWM features for Canadian cities; and iv) hydraulic engineering guidelines for more flood resilient waterway modification in urban environments.

Publications

PROJECT 1-6

DEVELOPMENT OF NEW FLOOD ESTIMATION MANUAL FOR CANADA

LEADER:

Dr. Peter Rasmussen - In Memoriam (University of Manitoba)
Email:  -

CO-INVESTIGATORS:  

Dr. Donald Burn (University of Waterloo)
Email:  dhburn@uwaterloo.ca

Dr. Fahim Ashkar (Université de Moncton)
Email:  ashkarf@umoncton.ca

Objective: Produce a manual and statistical tools for flood frequency analysis in Canada. The scope of the project will be limited to probability-based methods and will not consider probable maximum flood estimation.

Significance of research: Guidelines for flood frequency analysis will be an asset for practitioners, but must be based on a rigorous evaluation of candidate methods. While there is extensive literature on specific components of frequency analysis, the present research will consider the entire range of elements that must be considered in practice and will be tailored specifically to Canadian conditions.

Outcomes: A manual with suggested best practices for flood frequency analysis and statistical tools that implement key procedures from the methodology will be developed and made available to practitioners.

Publications