I'm writing my thesis on modelling extreme rainfall and I'm still struggling to find a good research question. I have asked a similar question before in this post. Maybe you guys can give me some ideas on what a good research question could be.

What I have fixed is the approx. 12km² area, a high resolution DEM and landcover, a lot of different rainfall events with a coarse spatial and temporal resolution and a very good model that gives me the height of flooded areas. The rainfall data I have is one value (i.e 20mm) for a reccurance intervall in years and duration period (i.e 1hour) and a 70km² large area. The value represents the mean precipitation volume for the whole area and time period

I guess I could just run the model for a couple of events but then I only get a couple of results. That maybe interesting but I feel like this is not reasearch. Its just running the software.

I can use rain events that cover the whole area and modify the event so that intensity is concentrated on certain parts of my study area. I.e I can assume that the north of my study area get 30mm rain and the south only 10mm which should have a dramatical influence on the model for the north. Than I can say that the spatial resolution of rainfall data should be as high as possible so that towns have a better data infrastructure for managing flood protection. But that's also kind of self evident.

And than I can do the same for temporal variability. I could assume that the 10mm in the 1hour period hit my area in the first 15min and the second half at minute 45 and could come to the same conclusion that a high temporal resolution would be nice.

What I came up so far seems very basic... Does anyone have good ideas for an interesting research questions?

Best regards

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The best research questions are the ones applicable to current problems in real life. What region are you modeling? What are the problems that influence that region? How can you best approximate worst-case scenarios in your model? Your research question could relate to the limiting factors that lead to those worst-case scenarios. After tuning your model and simulating your case study, you should be able to inform your research question. $\endgroup$ – f.thorpe Jan 30 '20 at 5:39
  • $\begingroup$ I think this is a dupe of the question that the asker linked when they said " I have asked a similar question before in this post" ;-) It appears that little has changed, except for a new username? $\endgroup$ – Semidiurnal Simon Jan 31 '20 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ Incidentally my answer to the old post still applies: You appear to have decided on the tools you want to use, but not what you are using them for. Stop, step away, and ask why are you doing this? $\endgroup$ – Semidiurnal Simon Jan 31 '20 at 13:02

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