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Li, Y. and Brimicombe, A.J. (2015) "A New Approach on Rapid Appraisal of Green Roof Potential in Urban Area" ILIDAR Magazine, Vol 5 Issue 5 (July 2015): 55-57

We have successfully used LiDAR data to assess the green roof potential during our work in the project of TURaS. TURaS (Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability) is funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of European Union. Our work in this project focuses on green roof development in London. This application has been eventually evolved to a straightforward and effective approach which can be used in green infrastructure development around urban area. Green roofs are important for resilient urban communities as they assist runoff attenuation, promote evapotranspiration, help improve air quality, result in energy savings, and provide recreational spaces. There has been very little work on rapid appraisal of green roof potential which this study addresses using LiDAR data. The London case study shows that LiDAR can cost-effectively classify roof geometry for large areas according to green roof design criteria as an input to the planning process.

Brimicombe, A.J. (2009) GIS, Environmental Modeling and Engineering (2nd Edition). CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA.

Li, Y. (2007) "Control of spatial discretisation in coastal oil spill modelling" International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 9: 392-402

Spatial discretisation plays an important role in many numerical environmental models. This paper studies the control of spatial discretisation in coastal oil spill modelling with a view to assure the quality of modelling outputs for given spatial data inputs. Spatial data analysis techniques are effective for investigating and improving the spatial discretisation in different phases of the modelling. Proposed methods are implemented and tested with experimental models. A new “automatic search” method based on GIS zone design principles is shown to significantly improve discretisation of bathymetric data and hydrodynamic modelling outputs. The concepts and methods developed in the study are expected to have general relevance for a range of applications in numerical environmental modelling.

Brimicombe, A.J. (2003) GIS, Environmental Modelling and Engineering. Taylor & Francis, London. 

The significance of modelling in managing the environment is well recognised from scientific and engineering perspectives as well as in the political arena. Environmental concerns and issues of sustainability have permeated both public and private sectors, particularly the need to predict, assess and mitigate against adverse impacts that arise from continuing development and use of resources. Environmental modelling is an inherently spatial activity well suited to taking advantage of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) functionality whether this be modelling aspects of the environment within GIS or linked to external simulation models. In doing so, a number of issues become important: environmental models need to consider space-time processes often in three-dimensions whereas GIS are largely two-dimensional and static; environmental models are often computational simulations, as distinct from cartographic modelling and map algebra in GIS; what should be the degree of integration between GIS and environmental models on any project; how does uncertainty in spatial data from GIS and the choices of parameterisation in environmental models combine and propagate through analyses to affect outputs; by what means can decisions be made with uncertain information. These issues inevitably arise in every scientific and engineering project to model and manage our environment. Students need to be made aware of these issues. Practitioners should enrich their knowledge and skills in these areas. This book focuses on the modelling, rather than on data collection or visualisation - other books adequately cover these areas - and aims to develop critical users of both GIS and environmental models.

Brimicombe, A.J. and Tsui, P. (2000) "A variable resolution, geocomputational approach to the analysis of point patterns", Hydrological Processes 14: 2143-2155 

A geocomputational approach to the solution of applied spatial problems is being ushered in to take advantage of ever increasing computer power. The move is seen widely as a paradigm shift allowing better solutions to be found for old problems, solutions to be found for previously unsolvable problems and the development of new quantitative approaches to geography. This paper uses geocomputation to revisit point pattern analysis as an objective, exploratory means of evaluating mapped distributions of landforms and/or events. A new variable resolution approach is introduced and tested alongside more traditional approaches of nearest neighbour distance and quadrat analysis and against another geocomputational approach, the K function. The results demonstrate that firstly, the geocomputational paradigm allows new and more useful solutions to be found for old problems. Secondly, a variable resolution approach to geographical data analysis goes some way towards overcoming the problem of scale inherent in such analyses. Finally, the technique facilitates spatio-temporal analyses of event data, such as landslides, thus offering new lines of enquiry in areas such as hazard mitigation.[

Chen, X.H.; Brimicombe, A.J. and Hu, R. (1999) "Forecasting of flood and sediment with an improved time-variant diffusive model" Hydrological Sciences Journal 44: 583:595 

Floods are a significant barrier in the exploitation and management of water resources. Hydrological forecasting is an important tool for flood control and can provide the basis for dealing with the conflict between flood control and water resources. This paper proposes a hydrological forecasting method for rivers by deriving an energy equation which describes the conservation of potential slope, kinetic slope, and friction slope of a river reach. The equation contains an additional term, the rate of change of stage, which has a significant effect on the propagation of flood waves, as compared with the Saint-Venant momentum equation. The energy equation has been found to provide more accurate results in the hydraulic calculation of the Han River, China, than the Saint-Venant momentum equation. Based on this energy equation, an improved diffusive model (IDM) was derived. By modelling the flood process for the Yellow River, China, the IDM was compared with the classical diffusive model (CDM) showing that the IDM gives better results. The time series form of the IDM with time-variant parameters was used for real-time hydrological forecasting of the Yellow River. The recursive ordinary least-squares (ROLS) approach, improved by introducing an effective matrix, was used for on-line identification of parameters. The model presented in this paper was found to have the ability to model the nonlinear and time-variant behaviours of the hydrological process.

Chen, X.H. and Brimicombe, A.J. (1997) "Temporal and spatial variations of Fe and Mn in Arha Reservoir" Water Pollution IV, Computational Mechanics Publications, Southampton: 95-104 

Hydrological forecasting can provide the basis for dealing with the conflict between flood control and water use. This paper proposes a flood and sediment forecasting method for rivers by deriving an energy equation which describes the conservation of potential slope, kinetic slope, and friction slope of a river reach. The equation contains an additional term, the rate of change of stage, which has a significant effect on the propagation of flood waves, as compared with the Saint-Venant momentum equation. The energy equation has been found to provide more accurate results in the hydraulic calculation of the Han River, China, than the Saint-Venant momentum equation. Based on this energy equation, an improved diffusive model (IDM) was derived. By modelling the flood processes for the Yellow River, China, the IDM was compared with the classical diffusive model (CDM) showing that the IDM gives better results. The time series form of IDM with time-variant parameters was used for real-time flood and sediment forecasting of the Yellow River. The recursive ordinary least-squares (ROLS) approach, improved by introducing an effective matrix, was used for on-line identification of parameters.

Brimicombe, A.J. and Bartlett, J. (1996) "Linking geographic information systems with hydraulic simulation modeling for flood risk assessment: the Hong Kong approach" in GIS and Environmental Modelling: Progress and Research Issues (eds. Goodchild et al.), Wiley, New York: 165-168
 

Hong Kong's northern lowland basins have undergone substantial urban and sub-urban development over a 20 year period. This has been associated with worsening recurrent flood problems. An approach has been adopted whereby hydraulic modeling has been used in conjunction with geographic information systems (GIS) to produce 1:5,000 scale Basin Management Plans. GIS has a dual role: in data integration and quantification as an input to hydraulic modeling; in data interpolation, visualization and assessment of flood hazard and flood risk using the outputs from the hydraulic modeling. By using current land use and various development scenarios to be modeled over a range of rainstorm events, 'what if' decision support can be used in devising Basin Management Plans. Linking with hydraulic modeling requires a different approach to GIS data modeling than with the more traditional linkage with hydrological modeling only. The methodology developed in Hong Kong is presented as a case study.

Li, Y. (1996) "The study and development of oil spill model for Jiao Zhou Bay" Environmental Protection in Communications, 6: 26-38 

The transportation of oil production in Jiao Zhou Bay is considerable heavy, because several large oil export terminals locate within this bay. Around Jiao Zhou Bay, there are dense residential area, important economical zone and rich tourist resources, for which oil spill might cause serious damage. In this paper, oil spill model is studied and developed for Jiao Zhou Bay and adjacent water. Hydrodynamic modelling is explored with finite element method and is further locally calibrated in term of the accuracy consideration. Trajectory and fate modelling is then carried out to simulate the oil dispersion and weather processes. Various data are inputted at different phases of modelling, most of which are dynamic and distributed. Geographic information system (GIS) has crucial role in this study for data integration, manufacture and display. GIS and the oil spill model are fully coupled for easy-use in this case. This oil spill model would efficiently support the contingency plan and emergency system for Qing Dao Port which locate in Jiao Zhou Bay.

Hansen, A.; Brimicombe, A.J.; Franks, C; Kirk, P. and Tung, F. (1995) "Application of GIS to hazard assessment, with particular reference to landslides in Hong Kong" in Geographical Information Systems in Assessing Natural Hazards (eds. Carrara & Guzzetti), Kluwer, Netherlands: 273-298

This paper reviews some of the factors relevant to the implementation of various GIS facilities with respect to terrain-related hazards prevailing in Hong Kong, with particular reference to landslides. Examples of the current state of practice are described, together with some considerations for future developments with regard to landslide hazard assessment and emergency response. Although Hong Kong faces the combined hazards of landslides. flooding, tidal surge and typhoon winds, the emphasis of this paper is placed on the approach to reducing landslide risks to the public. The approach is discussed within the framework of hazard mitigation (prevention and preparedness), disaster response and to a lesser extent, recovery. The key programmes within the Geotechnical Engineering Office of the Hong Kong Government are given as studies. These systems continue to be developed to be more responsive to the pressing needs of urban development and to an increasing community awareness of the hazards of slope failures.

Ashworth, J.; Tang, W. and Brimicombe, A.J. (1993) "Hong Kong: safeguarding ecology in a dynamic environment" Mapping Awareness 7(6): 34-36

Rapid urbanisation presents a challenge to those concerned with nature conservation in Hong Kong. World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong is using GIS technology to produce an Ecological Information System for the Territory to help ensure that future land development is carried out in an environmentally sensitive way.

Brimicombe, A.J. and Bartlett, J. (1993) "Spatial decision support in flood hazard and flood risk assessment: a Hong Kong case study" 3rd International Workshop on GIS, Beijing, Vol. 2: 173-182

Hong Kong's northern New Territories has undergone rapid urban and sub-urban development which has worsened recurrent flooding problems. An approach has been adopted in Hong Kong whereby hydraulic modelling has been used in conjunction with geographic information systems to produce 1:5,000 scale Basin Management Plans. GIS has a dual role: in data integration and quantification as an input to hydraulic modelling; in data interpolation, visualisation and assessment of flood hazard and flood risk using the outputs from the hydraulic modelling. By using current land use and various development scenarios to be modelled over a range of rainstorm events, 'what if' decision support can be used in the design of the Basin Management Plans. Linking with hydraulic modelling requires a different GIS approach than with the more traditional linkage with hydrological modelling. The methodology developed in Hong Kong is presented as a case study.

Tang, W.; Ashworth, J. and Brimicombe, A.J. (1993) "Implementation of the Hong Kong ecological information system" 3rd International Workshop on GIS, Beijing, Vol. 2: 173-182 

Despite its small area, Hong Kong has a very diverse flora and fauna which is continually under threat both from the relentless expansion of urban areas and associated infrastructure and from the increasingly heavy demands for recreational outlets. Whilst the ecology of Hong Kong has been studied and documented, the information is generally unpublished and scattered amongst local researchers and naturalists. In order to have a more centralised information base with which to direct conservation efforts and review impacts of new developments, the World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong (WWFN HK) has adopted Geographic Information System technology. A vegetation layer, interpreted by WWFN HK from aerial photos, relevant conservation and administrative boundary layers and climatic summary layers are now complete. Topographic, drainage, roads and ecological information layers are partially complete. A 1:50,000 scale colour maps and handbook are being prepared for printing and wide dissemination. Use of the database for environmental impact assessment and research has already begun.

Brimicombe, A.J. (1989) "Boolean maps and the rationalization of opportunities and constraints in physical planning" Proceedings International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management, Hong Kong : 13-22

The recognition of opportunities and constraints offered by the physical landscape and its cover is a necessary precursor to development and planning. Whilst aerial photographic interpretation and a geomorphological evaluation of landform can rapidly furnish most of the data, conclusions on opportunities and constraints can be of a generalised nature. If the paper products instead form a digital database, then Boolean mapping can provide a more rigorous and communicable approach. Boolean maps are the outcome of overlay analyses incorporating logical operators that allow the direction of analysis to be controlled so that outcomes are rationalized for specific proposed land uses or activities.

Brimicombe, A.J. (1987) "Geomorphology terrain evaluation for solid wastes disposal in tropical and sub-tropical climates" in The Role of Geology in Urban Development (ed. Whiteside), Geological Society, Hong Kong : 457-462 

Two important considerations in formulating environmentally sound policies towards solid wastes disposal are land use planning and engineering feasibility. Regulated zoning based on land capability, political desirability and other criteria is frequently adopted to resolve competing land uses, to conserve valuable agricultural and recreational areas and to reserve prime development land. If potential landfill sites are purposely sought, then strict criteria of land suitability need to be met. However, the very nature of waste disposal inevitably results in these sites being consigned to marginal lands possessing environmental and engineering problems. A detailed evaluation of the problems will be required for a sound assessment of engineering feasibility. Emphasis in the literature is on the economic and social; aspects of waste management and though generalised guidelines for the siting of disposal facilities may be listed, too few authors consider how assess the physical setting in any detail. In the tropics and sub-tropics, increasing volumes of waste are coincident with a frequent lack of information about the landscape whilst high seasonal rainfall and landscape sensitivity produce special design problems. Modern geomorphological methods of terrain evaluation using aerial photography and other remote sensing imagery offer a cost-effective solution. Landform is the key to interpreting materials and processes which can be assessed in relation to the design criteria and design limitations for landfills to arrive at decisions on land suitability that reflect engineering feasibility. A terrain evaluation also highlights at an early stage the problems and constraints that would have to be overcome through investigation and design to ensure that sites are environmentally acceptable and can be safely operated.

Brimicombe, A.J. (1985) "Geomorphology: an aid to solid wastes management in the tropics" in Pollution in the Urban Environment (eds Chan et al), Elsevier, London : 421-426

The problems which need to be solved for effective solid waste management within the Tropics have long been recognised as being different from those traditionally encountered in the industrialised nations of the West. There are however, no universal solutions and "every city needs a system tailor-made to its own .... environment" (Flintoff, 1984). All too often the literature concentrates on the economic and social aspects of waste management and though generalised guidelines for the siting of waste disposal facilities may be listed, too few authors consider how to assess the physical setting in any detail. This paper introduces geomorphology, the study of landforms, as a cost-effective means of evaluating the physical environment of the Tropics within the appropriate economic and social context for the reconnaissance, feasibility and design stages of waste disposal facilities.

Brimicombe, A.J. (1984) "Computer-stored databases and the analysis of superficial deposits" in Geology of Surficial Deposits in Hong Kong (ed. Yim), Geological Society, Hong Kong : 19-24 

The two-stage study of superficial materials where a site evaluation is followed by a site investigation represents a logical and planned progression of data collection. At the end of each stage a synthesis is carried out to present the data as useable information for engineers, planners and architects. This rarely presents any great difficulty at the end of site evaluation as the data are usually qualitative and two-dimensional. On completion of the site investigation stage, however, geologists and geomorphologists are faced with having to analyse and present large quantitative data sets that are three-dimensional for superficial materials and frequently four-dimensional (space and time) for groundwater studies. Manual procedures of drawing cross-sections, isopachs or isometric block diagrams can be both tedious and time consuming and therefore detrimental to the extent of analysis. The computer-stored database approach described in this paper is a rapid means of graphically analysing site investigation data in relation to site topography and is an effective means of communicating the results.

Brimicombe, A.J. (1984) "Aerial photographic evidence for environmental change in Hong Kong" in The Evolution of the East Asian Environment (ed. Whyte), University of Hong Kong, Vol. I: 128-136

In 1948 Belcher stated the principle that "similar soils are developed on similar slopes under the action of weathering of similar materials". Thirty-five years later this principle, though slightly modified, is still the basis for engineering site evaluation. Landforms created from geologically similar materials and subjected to the same evolutionary processes operating within identical external environments for the same period of time will have a similar range of engineering properties. A thorough knowledge of the geology and evolution in cyclic time would therefore not only enable the geologist and geomorphologist more easily to interpret site investigation data, but also extrapolate properties from one landform to another. Furthermore, a knowledge of a landform's present tendency would permit an assessment of its probable reaction under human impact.

Brimicombe, A.J. (1982) "Engineering site evaluation from aerial photographs" Proceedings of the Seventh Southeast Asian Geotechnical Conference, Hong Kong, Vol. II: 139-148

Two contrasting sites in Hong Kong are evaluated using aerial photographs to illustrate the approach and technique of interpretation and the range of information that can be extracted. The approach towards interpretation is related to the engineer's information requirement whilst the skill of the interpreter, scale and quality of the aerial photographs and the landscape itself define the range of information that can be extracted.

Brimicombe, A.J. (1982) "Geomorphology" in Mid-Levels Study, Government Printer, Hong Kong