This paper presents a new flood modelling tool developed by coupling a full 2D hydrodynamic model with hydrological models. The coupled model overcomes the main limitations of the individual modelling approaches, i.e. high computational costs associated with the hydrodynamic models and less detailed representation of the underlying physical processes related to the hydrological models. When conducting a simulation using the coupled model, the computational domain (e.g. a catchment) is first divided into hydraulic and hydrological zones. In the hydrological zones that have high ground elevations and relatively homogeneous land cover or topographic features, a conceptual lumped model is applied to obtain runoff/net rainfall, which is then routed by a group of pre-acquired ‘unit hydrographs’ to the zone borders. These translated hydrographs will be then used to drive the full 2D hydrodynamic model to predict flood dynamics at high resolution in the hydraulic zones that are featured with complex topographic settings, including roads, buildings, etc. The new coupled flood model is applied to reproduce a major flood event occurred in Morpeth, northeast England in September 2008. While producing similar results, the new coupled model is shown to be computationally much more efficient than the full hydrodynamic model.

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