MATH Hydrology Conversion

MATH SIMUL graph

MATH was developed for the UK Environment Agency, through Plan B UK Ltd, to support research into flood forecasting in rivers. It runs elaborate models relating rainfall and river-flow, displaying results interactively, and allowing "what-if" exploration of model parameters.

Every river catchment area behaves differently in how it channels rainfall into rivers: steep terrain encourages rapid runoff, causing high peaks of river flow and risk of flash floods. Shallow slopes, fractured geology or woodland will tend to absorb water to a greater extent, buffering the effects of peak rainfall and creating a gradual rise and fall of river levels.

MATH Calibration model

MATH analyses model files describing rainfall and river rates over a few hours or days at a chosen location. It then helps compare hydrological models to see how well they predict river behaviour, based on past measurements. Processes are run in real-time - when you drag a slider, the curves all reform instantly in a manner which is especially satisfying to a layman, and means something important to a real hydrologist.

Users can vary model parameters using sliders or check boxes, and get instant visual feedback on the behaviour of the complex mathematical models. Users can load files of "transfer functions", which roughly correspond to filters augmenting or diminishing the effects of rainfall over a time-period.

This used Delphi, ChartFX and the NAG Mathematical library, and involved a translation of original FORTRAN code from a MicroVAX, onto PC.

MATH Forecast

Date: 1999-2000

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