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Channel-floodplain interactions during flood events: energy and momentum exchange

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, December 13, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

When rivers flood, the velocity of the water in the main channel is normally significantly faster than that on the floodplains where water spills overbank, and therefore a strong shear layer develops where in-channel and out-of-bank flows interact. Our knowledge and understanding of flow interactions between channels and floodplains is weak, with limited field data and simplified numerical models. This studentship will deploy novel acoustic and optical instruments to obtain turbulent flow measurements at the channel-floodplain interface for different relative depths, different vegetation types (e.g., grasses, shrubs, woody seedlings) and for spatially heterogeneous roughness ranging from individual elements (individual plants) through to tufts and patches of variable floodplain roughness (heterogeneous vegetation). Working with industrial partners, these measurements will be used to develop and validate theoretical and full three-dimensional CFD models of turbulent flow dynamics at the channel-floodplain interface, improving predictions of channel-floodplain interactions due flood events and high water levels.

The Living with Water: Perceptions, Processes, Responses and Mitigation of Flooding cluster
This PhD project is part of a PhD cluster focusing on flooding. The magnitude and frequency of flooding and the associated risks to infrastructure, economic activity and human life are known to be increasing due to changes in rainfall and storm intensity, frequency and seasonality, in conjunction with the pressures of increased development on floodplains and in the coastal zone. There is a need for society to adapt to Live with Water. This PhD cluster will focus on better understanding the impacts of flooding and improving the approaches to mitigating flood risk to societies. Improved understanding of the impacts of flooding requires an improved understanding of the processes leading to flooding and the processes active during floods; from the changes in fluxes of water and debris, through to emergency responders’ and the public’s behaviour and perception in response to flood events. The cluster brings together researchers in Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Life Sciences, and Computer Science with social scientists and physical and numerical modellers in Geography and Geology.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree in physical geography, earth sciences, engineering or related disciplines, or a Masters level research qualification in a relevant discipline together with an interest in numerical modelling and environmental flows. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

For further details, please contact Dr Stuart McLelland ()

Application deadline: Friday 13 December 2019

Funding Notes

Full-time UK/EU and International PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£15,009 in 2019/20) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.
PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

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