Programme OS4h Risk management 3
Floods forecasting and warning operations enhancement by Grid
technology adoption in Civil Protection organization
Author(s): Vincent Thierion, Pierre-Alain Ayral, Sophie
Sauvagnargues-Lesage, François Bressand, Philippe Nardin, Roberto Sorani
Keyword(s): flash flood, emergency management, GRID technology, forecasting system
Session: OS4h Risk management 3
years, Grid computing is a technological revolution in high performance distributed computing allowing large-scale
resource sharing, computational power using and supporting collaboration across networks. Presently, the most
important effort, in term of Grid technology development, is performed by the EGEE (Enabling Grids for E-science
in Europe) project. Already used by many scientists in Europe, the EGEE Grid platform aims to create a seamless
European Grid infrastructure for the support of the European Research Area.
Moreover, the GMES (Global
Monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative is a highly research initiative which must provide a structure
framework for data integration and information management. Civil Protection topics are included in one of the
GMES service categories. For Civil Protection community the main objective of this research initiative is to improve
the coordination of assistance intervention in the event of natural, technological, radiological, ecological or
In this context, the European project CYCLOPS has been introduced in objective of
bridging the gap between Grid and Civil Protection communities. This two years project (2006-2008) is making
Civil Protection community be aware of the services provided by Grid infrastructures, and, at the same time, letting
Grid researcher to be aware of Civil Protection specific requirements and service enhancements needs. Hence,
CYCLOPS overall objective is to define requirements of Civil Protection agencies to adapt existing Grid technology
for emergency issues.
Presently, it seems difficult to adopt Grid technology in the whole of Civil Protection
structures. However, some specific services could really take advantage of Grid technology adoption to improve
their functioning. As realistic simulations, two use-cases have been selected to study the possible reliability of Grid
technology in natural disaster warning and forecasting systems field.
One of theses two chosen use-cases
concerns the floods warning service of Gard Region (SPC-GD) which monitors flash floods events to assist Civil
Protection emergency operations. A climatic phenomenon called "épisode Cèvenol" occurs in this region and is due
to storm events formed on the Mediterranean Sea and pushed by south winds causing some extreme rainfall events
on Cevennes Mountains.
Lessons learnt from past extreme events such as during the 8th and 9th September
2002, have emphasized the need of improving the monitoring and forecasting operations of this service. Indeed, used
hydrological models can’t efficiently perform this task for several reasons, such as computational power and data
The use of Grid technology capabilities in this service could certainly help forecasters to reach
these new objectives and more widely attest its possible usefulness for Civil Protection functioning.
article, in the scope of CYCLOPS project, presents a new potential functioning of SPC-GD in crisis management
context, taking into account known advantages of Grid technology. Based on a technical descriptive approach, a set
of new functionalities and respective technological requirements, from a data-processing point of view, are described