skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Xu, Yuanchang"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Flood nowcasting refers to near-future prediction of flood status as an extreme weather event unfolds to enhance situational awareness. The objective of this study was to adopt and test a novel structured deep-learning model for urban flood nowcasting by integrating physics-based and human-sensed features. We present a new computational modeling framework including an attention-based spatial–temporal graph convolution network (ASTGCN) model and different streams of data that are collected in real-time, preprocessed, and fed into the model to consider spatial and temporal information and dependencies that improve flood nowcasting. The novelty of the computational modeling framework is threefold: first, the model is capable of considering spatial and temporal dependencies in inundation propagation thanks to the spatial and temporal graph convolutional modules; second, it enables capturing the influence of heterogeneous temporal data streams that can signal flooding status, including physics-based features (e.g., rainfall intensity and water elevation) and human-sensed data (e.g., residents’ flood reports and fluctuations of human activity) on flood nowcasting. Third, its attention mechanism enables the model to direct its focus to the most influential features that vary dynamically and influence the flood nowcasting. We show the application of the modeling framework in the context of Harris County, Texas, as the study area and 2017 Hurricane Harvey as the flood event. Three categories of features are used for nowcasting the extent of flood inundation in different census tracts: (i) static features that capture spatial characteristics of various locations and influence their flood status similarity, (ii) physics-based dynamic features that capture changes in hydrodynamic variables, and (iii) heterogeneous human-sensed dynamic features that capture various aspects of residents’ activities that can provide information regarding flood status. Results indicate that the ASTGCN model provides superior performance for nowcasting of urban flood inundation at the census-tract level, with precision 0.808 and recall 0.891, which shows the model performs better compared with other state-of-the-art models. Moreover, ASTGCN model performance improves when heterogeneous dynamic features are added into the model that solely relies on physics-based features, which demonstrates the promise of using heterogenous human-sensed data for flood nowcasting. Given the results of the comparisons of the models, the proposed modeling framework has the potential to be more investigated when more data of historical events are available in order to develop a predictive tool to provide community responders with an enhanced prediction of the flood inundation during urban flood.

     
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. The objective of this study is to predict road flooding risks based on topographic, hydrologic, and temporal precipitation features using machine learning models. Existing road inundation studies either lack empirical data for model validations or focus mainly on road inundation exposure assessment based on flood maps. This study addresses this limitation by using crowdsourced and fine-grained traffic data as an indicator of road inundation, and topographic, hydrologic, and temporal precipitation features as predictor variables. Two tree-based machine learning models (random forest and AdaBoost) were then tested and trained for predicting road inundations in the contexts of 2017 Hurricane Harvey and 2019 Tropical Storm Imelda in Harris County, Texas. The findings from Hurricane Harvey indicate that precipitation is the most important feature for predicting road inundation susceptibility, and that topographic features are more critical than hydrologic features for predicting road inundations in both storm cases. The random forest and AdaBoost models had relatively high AUC scores (0.860 and 0.810 for Harvey respectively and 0.790 and 0.720 for Imelda respectively) with the random forest model performing better in both cases. The random forest model showed stable performance for Harvey, while varying significantly for Imelda. This study advances the emerging field of smart flood resilience in terms of predictive flood risk mapping at the road level. In particular, such models could help impacted communities and emergency management agencies develop better preparedness and response strategies with improved situational awareness of road inundation likelihood as an extreme weather event unfolds.

     
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024