Interactive Shallow–Water Simulations in City Environments

Anselm Eickhoff, Bachelor Thesis



WebGL offers not only a graphics pipeline for modern web browsers, but can also be used as a simple GPGPU computation environment, making much more sophisticated web applications possible. As a proof-of-concept, WebFlood, a realtime, fully browser based flood simulation and visualisation was implemented. It employs a semi-lagrangian approach to solving the shallow-water equations. All computation is done by GLSL shaders on the GPU. The simulation state is displayed in a 3D visualisation, as part of a web page that allows user interaction with the simulation. WebFlood performs well in the classical 2D dam-break scenario of Fraccarollo and Toro (1995) and closely reproduces urban flooding behaviour of Iowa City (USA), given digital elevation data. Based on its cross-platform compatibility and simple distribution, two main applications are suggested: interactive public flood information and simulation-aided education for the example of hydrology.


Full Thesis (PDF)

Thesis Presentation (PDF)