Development of a continuous rainfall-runoff model for mesoscale blue-green systems

Mesoscale blue-green stormwater system is not the most common scale neither in the real-world implementations nor in the research studies. Believing in the large potential of the mesoscale blue-green system in flood mitigation, makes it an interesting study case with respect to both its local effects as well as its citywide effects. The findings through the 1-dimensional (1D)/2-dimensional (2D) modeling simulations by Haghighatafshar et al. (2018) demonstrated the large potential in mesoscale systems. However, the adopted modeling approach was found to be demanding in terms of parameter estimation and computational costs. In order to overcome the difficulties of 2D simulations, a fast and robust hydrodynamic model was developed for mesoscale blue-green systems (Haghighatafshar et al., 2019).

The previous modeling of blue-green stormwater measures in mesoscale focused initially on properly representing the runoff volume followed by a heuristic approach to describe the smoothing (equalizing) effect of the measures on the outflow through a nonlinear reservoir at the downstream end of the system.

A natural following step is to upgrade the available model from an event-based platform to a continuous model so that longer series of rainfall data (including dry periods) can be handled by model. This thesis work will require a study of evapotranspiration and infiltration processes in mesoscale blue-green stormwater systems under local climate circumstances.

The general aim of this project is to evaluate different runoff sink models, i.e. infiltration and evapotranspiration, and introduce the most suitable ones (for different components of blue-green infrastructure) into the existing Python code. The student(s) is/are expected to use the existing event-based model and turn it into a continuous model. Long data series of rainfall-runoff will be available for calibration/validation of the final model.

Who should apply?
Students with a background in Environmental Engineering or Civil Engineering programs with knowledge in rainfall-runoff processes and urban hydrology are encouraged to apply. Skills in Python programming and coding is highly relevant and recommended for this thesis project.

How to apply?
Send an e-mail with a few words about yourself, your educational background and why you are interested in this Master´s thesis project to

Flexible, Autumn 2020 – Spring 2021


  • Haghighatafshar, S., Nordlöf, B., Roldin, M., Gustafsson, L.-G., la Cour Jansen, J., Jönsson, K., 2018. Efficiency of blue-green stormwater retrofits for flood mitigation – Conclusions drawn from a case study in Malmö, Sweden. Journal of Environmental Management. 207, 60–69.
  • Haghighatafshar, S., Yamanee-Nolin, M., Larson, M., 2019. A physically based model for mesoscale SuDS – an alternative to large-scale urban drainage simulations. Journal of Environmental Management 240, 527–536.