While flood modelling is a fairly recent practice, attempts to understand and manage the mechanisms at work in floodplains have been made for at least six millennia. The recent development in computational flood modelling has enabled engineers to step away from the tried and tested "hold or break" approach and its tendency to promote overly engineered structures. Various computational flood models have been developed in recent years; either 1D models (flood levels measured in the channel) and 2D models (variable flood depth measured across the extent of the floodplain). HEC-RAS, the Hydraulic Engineering Centre model, is currently among the most popular if only because it is available free of charge. Other models such as TUFLOW combine 1D and 2D components to derive flood depth across the river channel and floodplain. To date the focus has primarily been on mapping tidal and fluvial flood events, but the 2007 flood events in the UK have shifted the emphasis there onto the impact of surface water flooding.
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