Using maths to predict locations of floods and drought💧

What we call a hydrological model, is a way of looking at the changes in water resources within the water/hydrological cycle 🔁 (this is the cycle of water through the earth and its atmosphere by evaporation, condensation and precipitation). Examples of water resources in these models include ice and snow ❄️, rivers, runoff, streamflow, groundwater and oceans. Maths is used to make estimates about water runoff (excess water across the land), in order to help determine future patterns of flooding or drought.

We divide the surface of the earth into a grid with (x, y) coordinations to define locations across the globe 🌎🌐. Mathematical equations are then used to model how water from one gridcell will flow downhill into another based on the shape of the land. The soil and bedrock are also mathematically modelled (these are assumed to only take in a specific amount rainfall so the extra rainfall becomes surface runoff).

The results from these models can then be used to make estimations about the amount and distribution of water in a certain area. Using this data we can calculate flood and drought risks over time as well as the water availability for human use 🥛, the environment 🌳 and agriculture 🌽.

This research is being undertaken by Lorna Burnell at the University of Nottingham. 🙌🏻

#appliedmathematics #usingmaths #environment #water #cycle #hydrologicalmodelling #floodrisk #droughtrisk #stem #communicatingmaths #scicomm

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