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The efficacy and long-term evolution of Natural Flood Risk Management interventions: a combined experimental and numerical modelling approach

School of Biological, Biomedical and Environmental Sciences

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Dr C Skinner , Dr S J Mclelland , Prof T Coulthard , Prof D Parsons No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Many flood agencies are attempting to reduce flood risk through Natural Flow Management (NFM) approaches, which attempt to alter and/or restore landscape features to reduce flood risk. However, the evidence base over the efficacy, scaling and connectivity of NFM interventions, across the catchment scale, and over longer periods of time remain unknown. Understanding these factors is necessary to validate, enable, and optimise NFM implementation at a national scale.

NFM aims to significantly enhance natural catchment processes to manage the propagation of flood waters, ultimately attenuating flood volumes and reducing peak flows. Although the effectiveness of NFM measures on peak water discharges at the local scale is reasonably well established, the longer-term and broader catchment-scale impact of NFM measures yields significant uncertainty in Flood Risk Management (FRM).

This PhD project will use numerical and physical modelling, coupled with field measurements, to enable NFM to be applied effectively at the catchment-scale. Catchments are interconnected systems, with channel capacities and non-stationary flood-risk properties imbedded within catchment connectivity and evolution. Therefore, NFM measures will impact water and sediment discharge connectivity through basins and in turn affect geomorphological processes and sediment dynamics, with longer-term, wider, influences on channel capacities, system conveyance and thus flood risk.

De-coupling the influence of hydrologic and geomorphic drivers of system interconnectivity is vital in order to: i) accurately quantify catchment-scale changes in flood hazard, and ii) fully understand the influence of NFM at catchment scales over longer time periods of >50-100 years, which are relevant to catchment management decisions. Establishing an understanding of the cumulative effect of flow-sediment interconnections and the longer-term impact of NFM on water and sediment flux across the catchment scale, over a range of different size basins is the key to enabling optimisation and roll out of NFM measures.

Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,553 in 2017/18) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent 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.

Start date 29th January 2018

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