CM2 The Model


The Community Modelling group in Otley decided to use a hydraulic model called HEC-RAS, to represent Farnley Lane, Back Bridge Avenue, and the Wharfe Meadows Park area. This software was set up to account for local river beds, drainage systems and flood flow paths. The model also allowed for changes to the bridge and weir to be made. HEC-RAS therefore enabled the exploration of specific causes of local flooding and consideration of possible solutions that would help build resilience and manage floods locally.


Nick, the scientific modelling expert, explained to the group how – in the HEC-RAS model – a river, is divided into reaches.  Each reach is then defined in detail by means of drawing transects across the reach at various intervals, with cross-sectional data along each transect.


This screenshot shows the HEC-RAS user interface as set up to represent the area investigated by the group.



To represent the local area in the model Nick acquired the data from a detailed topographical survey done in 2003 of the river and the floodplain. These survey data are held by the Environment Agency which is responsible for managing flood risk in England. The group also used publicly available LiDAR data and local knowledge and observations.



Report from Otley








Videos about the CM2 Model

This website is published a team of human geography researchers in the School of Geography and the Environment at University of Oxford.