Detecting rainfall in urban areas

What amount of rainfall causes flooding in urban areas? No one actually knows. In order to gain more knowledge of the impact of rainfall, TU Delft and international partners are trying to find answers by cooperating in the RainGain project. They use new radars and measuring systems on rooftops and the ground - even trams collect data.

Unknown how much rain falls in the city. (Photo: Mariska van Rijswijk)
Unknown how much rain falls in the city. (Photo: Mariska van Rijswijk)

Weather forecasting institutes traditionally built measuring system to detect rainfall as far away as possible from obstacles, like buildings and trees. In Rotterdam, a system is located at the airport, for example. This will make it easier to accurately know how much rain has actually fallen. “But the downside is that we do not know how much rain falls in the city,” says assistant professor of urban drainage, Marie-Claire ten Veldhuis.

In order to fill this knowledge gap, Prof. Ten Veldhuis is cooperating with 13 international local authorities and academic and business partners in the RainGain project. In four cities (Rotterdam, London, Paris and Leuven) the rainfall will be intensely measured. On the 16 of April the partners will come together to share information and best practices at an international workshop in Leuven.

TU Delft will detect the rainfall in Rotterdam, where there are now measurement systems on rooftops, the ground and even on top of trams. “We will also use a new radar that accurately detects rain in an area of 30 kilometres. It will see the shape and direction of the raindrops, and will be placed on the Nationale Nederlanden building near Rotterdam Central Station. The radars currently used to detect rain in the Netherlands give less detailed information.” Delft can learn a lot from scientists in Leuven, where an older version of the radar was placed in 2008.

RainGain will also focus on how to deal with the amount of rainfall in order to prevent flooding. Interestingly enough, the cities use different approaches. “Paris has many hills and uses large basins underneath the city. Rotterdam is a polder area and almost flat, has less basins and is thinking about storing water on squares in a controlled way in case of an emergency. London focuses on early warning systems and informing inhabitants what they can do by installing barriers at house level. The different circumstances and approaches will provide a fascinating overview of rainfall and flooding in urban areas.”

The project will go on for at least four years and an international workshop will be held every six months in one of the four cities.


15 september 2014 16.30

Spark(l)ing new materials

Spark(l)ing new materials As a rapid succession of electric sparks generates nanosized metal particles, it opens the way to produce new energy materials in bulk, discovered Tobias Pfeiffer in his PhD research.
15 september 2014 00.55

Desgevraagd

Desgevraagd Na een ruimtereis van meer dan een decennium kwam de Europese sonde Rosetta vorige maand aan bij komeet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Een mijlpaal in de ruimtevaartgeschiedenis, aldus ESA.

15 september 2014 00.49

Onzichtbaar op internet

Onzichtbaar op internet Wat deel jij op internet? En surf jij met een gerust hart over het web? Wie erg begaan is met zijn privacy, kan maar beter offline blijven. Maar goed nieuws: wiskundig ingenieur Rutger Plak sleepte deze zomer zijn titel binnen met een ...
15 september 2014 00.43

Leuk bedacht: Condensstrepen

Leuk bedacht: Condensstrepen Delta bericht regelmatig over innovatieve ideeën. Maar wat is daarvan terechtgekomen? Hoe staat het bijvoorbeeld met de vliegtuigbrandstof die geen condensstrepen zou veroorzaken?

15 september 2014 00.21

Molecular electronics

Researchers from TU Delft and Groningen Universities have developed a single molecule which may serve as an amplifier in nano-sized electronic circuits. They published their results in Nature Nanotechnology online on August 31 2014. The ...
15 september 2014 00.20

Gaining speed

The World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada started on September 8. The teams, including the Human Power Team Delft Amsterdam, have tried to improve the speed records until last Saturday. Cyclist Sebastiaan Bowier ...

  Meer