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Predicting Storm Flooding - The QSurge Project

If climate change is to bring higher tides and more frequent floods from cyclones, emergency services need early warning to enable them to plan for what will occur. Residents and businesses at risk of inundation also need to be able to prepare for severe weather events.

QSurge is a tool for modelling the extent of flood inundation, based on different scenarios, such as the northerly and southerly landfall latitudes of cyclones and their angle of approach. It provides a decision support system to enable emergency services to meet the projected scenario.

The storm tide research that resulted in the development of QSurge was carried out at Griffith University using the advanced high performance computing capability of the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF) and the newly developed parallel computing software of project partner DHI Australia. The data generated by the QSurge project was granted ReDS storage under the RDSI project in mid-2013.

The QSurge system is still under development and further stages will incorporate more parameters, such as the radius and forward speed of winds, tide conditions, and wave set up. The Queensland Government has seen a demonstration of the project and may seek to operationalise it as a warning and forecasting systems for future storm seasons.

The project has a prototype website but this is not for general release or use yet.