ECarrowJRCarrowIESarrowLMNHarrowFloods LISFLOOD Model

LISFLOOD is a GIS-based hydrological rainfall-runoff-routing model that is capable of simulating the hydrological processes that occur in a catchment. The specific development objective was to produce a tool that can be used in large and transnational catchments for a variety of applications, including flood forecasting, and assessing the effects of river regulation measures, land-use change and climate change.

The model's general structure is illustrated in the figure below:

LisFlood model

General structure of LISFLOOD

Processes simulated include:

  • Interception of rainfall by vegetation (Int)
  • Evaporation of intercepted water (EWint)
  • Leaf drainage (Dint)
  • Snow accumulation and snowmelt
  • Direct evaporation from the soil surface (ESa)
  • Water uptake and transpiration by plants (Ta)
  • Infiltration (INFact)
  • Preferential flow through macro-pores (Dpref,gw)
  • Surface runoff (Rs)
  • Gravity-driven vertical flow within (D1,2) and out of (D2,gw) the soil
  • Rapid (Quz) and slow (Qlz) groundwater runoff
  • Channel routing using kinematic (and optionally dynamic) wave

In addition, special options exist to simulate the effect of reservoirs and polders. If detailed river cross-section data are available, it is possible to use dynamic wave river routing. If only the downstream part of a catchment is simulated, one can represent the upstream parts using (measured) inflow hydrographs.

LISFLOOD needs spatially distributed input maps on topography, the river channel network, land cover (CoRINE land use classes), and soils (soil depth and texture class). Soil and vegetation parameters are linked to the soil texture and land use classes through look-up tables. The driving meteorological variables that are required are rainfall, potential evaporation (for bare soil, closed canopy and open water reference surfaces), and daily mean air temperature.

The potential evapo(transpi)ration estimates that are needed by LISFLOOD can be calculated from standard meteorological observations. To this end a special pre-processor has been developed, which is called LISVAP. Details on LISVAP can be found in the LISVAP User Manual [1.8 Megabytes].

All intermediate state and rate variables can be written as output. output is generated in the form of:

  • Maps for the whole catchment
  • Time series at user-defined points
  • Time series, averaged over the contributing area of each gauging station

The LISFLOOD model is implemented in the PCRaster Environmental Modelling language, wrapped in a Python based interface. PCRaster is a raster GIS environment that has its own high-level computer language, which allows the construction of easy to write iterative spatio-temporal environmental models. The Python wrapper of LISFLOOD enables the user to control the model inputs and outputs and the selection of the model modules. This approach combines the power and relative simplicity of the PCRaster Environmental Modelling language and the flexibility of Python.

A more detailed and comprehensive description of LISFLOOD can be found in van der Knijf et al. (2008) and de Roo et al. (2000).
The latest version of the LISFLOOD User Manual can be downloaded here [3.6 Megabytes].
The documentation of LISVAP is available here [1.8 Megabytes].

Van der Knijff J.M., J. Younis and A.P.J. De Roo (2010) LISFLOOD: a GIS-based distributed model for river-basin scale water balance and flood simulation. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Vol. 24, No.2, 189-212.

De Roo, A.P.J., Wesseling, C.G. and Van Deursen, W.P.A. (2000) Physically based river basin modelling within a GIS: The LISFLOOD model. Hydrological Processes, 14, pp. 1981–1992.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 September 2010 16:28