New model to assess heavy rainfall-induced road damages

New model to assess heavy rainfall-induced road damages

Floods, landslides, and accompanying debris flows on roadways in many parts of the country are wreaking havoc on infrastructure, killing people, and causing socio-economic havoc.

Heavy rainfall-induced damages to road transportation networks may now be fully understood and assessed thanks to new research from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar. In order to avoid highway floods and minimise losses, this hazard model can assist administrators in identifying "hotspots" that need to be reinforced and protected.

Using satellite images, ingeniously created models of floods, landslides and debris flows, and cutting edge predictions of flooding, the study team was able to accurately anticipate when and where heavy rainfall will cause flooding, landslides, and debris flows all at once. Landslides, debris flows, and flooding in those areas all have the potential to cause major infrastructure disruptions.

It was found that once-in-a-century rainfall in Kerala's Periyar river basin generated a series of events that were rebuilt and quantified to determine the exact degree of connection losses.

Deep landslides, debris flows, and reservoir inundation can be predicted using a digital elevation model (DEM) with high resolution superimposed on top of the terrain's road network and daily precipitation data. There are iterative numerical simulations based on equations of force, moment equilibrium and fundamental conservation principles that anticipate when, where, and how big infrastructure disruptions will be (mass and momentum balance).

It's important for pre-disaster preparedness and recovery to identify the risk well before disaster strikes. Prof. Udit Bhatia, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at IIT Gandhinagar, agrees. If we don't account for the confluence of catastrophic occurrences, our disaster readiness could be undermined by 70%, according to the conclusions of our modelling methodology."

"When we look at the regional road transportation systems, we end up with thousands of intersections and hundreds of thousands of road segments," Prof Bhatia added. As a result, no one in a system of this magnitude can assign the same importance to every component of the infrastructure. As part of the research for this project, we employed our proprietary network framework and hazard model, which helped us identify the societal and economic "hotspots" that should be strengthened and protected in order to minimise disruptions."

This research determines a road network's weakest to strongest links (hotspot pixels) and helps determine where road segments that need strengthening should be built. It also takes into account the existing vegetation cover, land use features and soil binding properties while developing a landslide model for an area.. To determine the slope stability for each pixel, the researchers input all of the relevant data into a mathematical model. This model, on the other hand, can evaluate the influence on the stability of the slope of each stabilisation attempt (e.g. changes in vegetation, reinforcements at various locations).

According to a press release from IIT Gandhinagar, the suggested framework can be used in any part of the world with sufficient observations for model calibration and validation.

In addition to Professor Udit Bhatia, Raviraj Dave and Srikrishnan Siva Subramanian were part of the research team. The Institute of Physics, based in the United Kingdom, publishes Environmental Research Letters, a cross-disciplinary international journal.