Dam Safety 2018: Technical Workshop - Dam-Break Flood Modeling/Mapping Using DSS-WISE Lite

When: Thursday, September 13 - 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Registration Fees: $300 per person includes all course materials as well as beverage breaks. 

Professional Development Hours: Up to 8 professional development hours are available for attending the full workshop. Attendees will receive a form on which to record contact hours for continuing education credits. 

Description: DSS-WISE™ Lite is a web-based, automated two-dimensional dam- and levee-break flood modeling and mapping capability developed at the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering, the University of Mississippi with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is accessible via DSS-WISE™ Web platform providing access to a secure, web-based environment consisting of a graphical user interface and a map server. The system is available 24/7 and free of charge to registered users. The graphical user interface (GUI) DSS-WISE™ Lite Prep Tool with real-time error checking allows the user to set up and run dam and levee breach scenarios resolutions from 20 ft. to 200 ft. extremely quickly in 12 intuitive easy steps. The data entry by the user is minimal. The preparation of the input data for the numerical model, based on the user-provided scenario, is fully automated.

Parallelized computational engine of DSS-WISE™ Lite solves full dynamic shallow water equations efficiently using a state-of-the-art, shock capturing upwind scheme, and provides the results quickly. In 70% of the cases, the GIS compatible final-results files are returned to the user within half an hour accompanied by an automatically generated final report. DSS-WISE™ Lite is used by federal agencies and state dam safety offices for dam safety studies and preparing emergency action plans. Because if its exceptional speed, it has also been used for operational modeling and emergency response planning efforts. DSS-WISE™ Lite provides a rich set of results files. As the simulation is being computed, the user can monitor the propagation of the flood and the inundation extent on a secure web page. A post-processing module generates flood danger maps, provides daytime and nighttime populations as a function of flood propagation, and carries out loss of life analysis based on the new USBR methodology.

This one-day short-course:

  • overviews the system components for DSS-WISE™ Web and GUI;
  • reviews dam-break flood hydraulics and the computational engine;
  • teaches step-by-step how to set up and run “reservoir-type” and “hydrograph-type” simulations;
  • discusses how to view and use the results files provided;
  • reviews population databases and explains estimation of consequences of flood on populations;
  • clearly explains behind-the-scenes of automated input data preparation;
  • discusses typical users mistakes and how to avoid them; and
  • presents tips and techniques for dealing with challenging cases.

Who should attend? This short course is designed for practicing engineers and emergency managers working in state dam safety offices, federal and state agencies, and consulting companies who have an interest in dam safety, and practical dam-break flood modeling and mapping using the web-based, automated dam-break flood modeling and mapping capability DSS-WISE™ Lite. It does not require any prior knowledge or experience in numerical modeling, but a general understanding of the concepts of dam safety would be helpful.

Workshop Materials: Workshop participants will receive a link to download reference materials, including copies of the slides used by the instructors, as well as the data set to be used during the “Group Exercise” session. Participants, who are not already users, will receive a temporary password to be used for the purposes of the short course. This temporary password will remain valid for 15 days after the short course to allow participants to continue practicing on their own.

What to Bring: Participants are asked to bring their own laptop to be able to participate in the group exercise session to acquire hands-on experience to set up and submit simulations. Electrical outlets and Internet service will be provided. The laptop should be Wi-Fi enabled and have a web browser (other than Internet Explorer). There is no need to install any programs on the computer for setting up and submitting simulations. During the exercise session, users without laptop computers may be teamed up with other users with laptop computers.

For the post processing of the results, the participants should have a GIS software (for example ArcGIS or QGIS) and a spreadsheet software (such as Microsoft Excel) installed on their laptop. If you do not already have a GIS software on your computer, you may download and install QGIS free of charge. QGIS is an excellent software package and offers all functionalities needed to display, and post-treat the results files provided by DSS-WISE™ Lite. DSS-WISE™ Lite development team members use for their own work. QGIS is open source software available under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The latest (development) version or long-term release versions of QGIS software is available for different platforms (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD, Android). For detailed information on QGIS, please visit the homepage or download QGIS now. 

Instructors: The course will be taught by the three members of the DSS-WISE Lite development team at the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering (NCCHE) of the University of Mississippi in Oxford Mississippi. 

  • Dr. Mustafa S. Altinakar, Director and Research Professor.
  • Marcus McGrath, Research and Development Engineer and Ph.D. Candidate.
  • Dr. Vijay Ramalingam, Research Scientist.

Opening remarks will be presented by

  • Mr. James E. Demby, Jr., PE, Senior Technical and Policy Advisor, National Dam Safety Program (NDSP), FEMA
  • Gokhan Inci, PhD, PE, PEng, PMP, Civil Engineer, Research Lead, National Dam Safety Program (NDSP), Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), FEMA


Special thanks to our sustaining members