Application of CityDrain3 in flood simulation of sponge polders: A case study of Kunshan, China

Dingbing Wei, Christian Urich, Shuci Liu, Sheng Gu

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The selection of sponge city facilities (e.g., pump, storage tank, wetland, or bioretention pond) to mitigate urban floods has been a crucial issue in China. This study aims to develop a conceptual flood-simulation model, which can take into account the effects of such facilities of a sponge city. Taking Jiangpu polder in Kunshan City as a case study, CityDrain3 was implemented to develop a baseline model and another three sponge polder models (pump only, storage tank only, pump, and storage tank). A sensitivity analysis was carried out to guarantee the robustness of the newly developed model. In the model application part, firstly, one-hour rainfall scenarios with different return periods (2a, 5a, 10a, 20a, 50a, 100a, with 'a' referring to a year) were employed as inputs to the conceptual baseline model. The growing trend of flood depth (from 12.69 mm to 17.16 mm) simulated by the baseline model under increased return periods (from 3a to 100a) demonstrated the feasibility of polder flood simulations using CityDrain3. Secondly, a one-hour rainfall scenario with a 10-year return period was employed on the baseline model and the three sponge polder models. The results showed that the effect rankings of the control strategies on the total flood volume, peak flow, flood yielding time, and the peak-flow occurrence time were comparable-combined strategies (pump and storage tank) > storage tank only > pump only. The conceptual, and hydrological model developed in this study can serve as a simulation tool for implementing a real-time urban storm water drainage control system in the Jiangpu polder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number507
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • CityDrain3 model
  • Polder
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Sponge city
  • Urban flood

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