3D Visualization of Hydrological Model Outputs For a Better Understanding of Multi-Scale Phenomena

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Julien Richard1, Daniel J M Schertzer2 and Ioulia Tchiguirinskaia1, (1)U. Paris Est, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech,, Marne-la-Vallee,, France, (2)University Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne, Créteil Cedex, France
During the last decades, many hydrological models has been created to simulate extreme events or scenarios on catchments. The classical outputs of these models are 2D maps, time series or graphs, which are easily understood by scientists, but not so much by many stakeholders, e.g. mayors or local authorities, and the general public. One goal of the Blue Green Dream project is to create outputs that are adequate for them. To reach this goal, we decided to convert most of the model outputs into a unique 3D visualization interface that combines all of them. This conversion has to be performed with an hydrological thinking to keep the information consistent with the context and the raw outputs.
We focus our work on the conversion of the outputs of the Multi-Hydro (MH) model, which is physically based, fully distributed and with a GIS data interface. MH splits the urban water cycle into 4 components: the rainfall, the surface runoff, the infiltration and the drainage. To each of them, corresponds a modeling module with specific inputs and outputs. The superimposition of all this information will highlight the model outputs and help to verify the quality of the raw input data. For example, the spatial and the time variability of the rain generated by the rainfall module will be directly visible in 4D (3D + time) before running a full simulation. It is the same with the runoff module: because the result quality depends of the resolution of the rasterized land use, it will confirm or not the choice of the cell size.
As most of the inputs and outputs are GIS files, two main conversions will be applied to display the results into 3D. First, a conversion from vector files to 3D objects. For example, buildings are defined in 2D inside a GIS vector file. Each polygon can be extruded with an height to create volumes. The principle is the same for the roads but an intrusion, instead of an extrusion, is done inside the topography file.
The second main conversion is the raster conversion. Several files, such as the topography, the land use, the water depth, etc., are defined by geo-referenced grids. The corresponding grids are converted into a list of triangles to be displayed inside the 3D window. For the water depth, the display in pixels will not longer be the only solution. Creation of water contours will be done to more easily delineate the flood inside the catchment.