Selected Publications

Intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves usefully quantify extreme precipitation over various durations and return periods for engineering design. Unfortunately, sparse, infrequent, or short observations hinder the creation of robust IDF curves in many locations. This paper presents the first global, multi-temporal (1–360 h) dataset of generalized extreme value (GEV) parameters at 31 km resolution dubbed PXR-2 (Parametrized eXtreme Rain). Using these data we generalize site-specific studies to show that that GEV parameters typically scale robustly with event duration (r^2 > 0.88). Thus, we propose a universal IDF formula that allows estimates of rainfall intensity for a continuous range of durations (PXR-4). This parameter scaling property opens the door to estimating sub-daily IDF from daily records. We evaluate this characteristic for selected global cities and a high-density rain gauge network in the United Kingdom. We find that intensities estimated with PXR-4 are within ±20% of PXR-2 for durations ranging between 2 and 360 h. PXR is immediately usable by earth scientists studying global precipitation extremes and a promising proof-of-concept for engineers designing infrastructure in data-scarce regions.
Environ Res Lett, 2019

Digital elevation models (DEM) are fundamental for hydrologic and hydraulic modelling. Many practitioners rely on open‐access global data sets due to the cost and sparse coverage of sources of higher resolution. In 2016, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency released the ALOS World 3D‐30m (AW3D30), an open‐access global elevation model at an horizontal resolution of 30 m. So far no published study has done an assessment of the flood modelling capabilities of this new product. The purpose of this investigation is to (a) assess the utility of the AW3D30 for flood modelling purposes and (b) compare its performance with regards to computed water levels and flood extent maps calculated using other freely available 30m DEM (e.g., SRTM and ASTER). For this comparison, the reference to reality is given by the maps computed using a light detection and ranging (LiDAR)‐based digital terrain model. This study is carried out in two catchments with contrasting topographic gradients. Results show that AW3D30 performs better than the SRTM. In mountainous regions, the results derived with the AW3D30 are comparable in skill to those obtained with a LiDAR‐derived digital surface model. This encouraging performance paves the way to more accurate modelling for both data‐scarce regions and global flood models.
J Flood Risk Manag, 2019

The rainfall distribution is one of the most important factors that affects the watershed response to a given precipitation event. This paper uses radar rainfall to simulate of the floods of the city of Hull, U.K., in June 2007. The computed flooded areas from this rainfall and a uniform one is compared against those registered by public authorities. Results show similar skills at reproducing the real event, but differences appear in the total precipitated volumes, water depths and flooded areas. It is envisaged that in urban areas and with the advent of higher resolution radars, these differences will be more important and call for further investigation.
Water, 2018

This paper presents Itzï, a new free software for the simulation of floods. It is integrated with a geographic information system (GIS), which reduces the human time necessary for preparing the entry data and analysing the results of the simulation. Itzï uses a simplified numerical scheme that permits to obtain results faster than with other types of models using more complex equations. In this article, Itzï is tested with three cases that show its suitability to simulate urban floods.
Geosci. Model Dev., 2017

Recent Publications

. Intensity-duration-frequency curves at the global scale. Environ Res Lett, 2019.

PDF Project

. Evaluation of open‐access global digital elevation models (AW3D30, SRTM, and ASTER) for flood modelling purposes. J Flood Risk Manag, 2019.

PDF Project

. The Significance of the Spatial Variability of Rainfall on the Numerical Simulation of Urban Floods. Water, 2018.

PDF Project

. Itzï (version 17.1): An open-source, distributed GIS model for dynamic flood simulation. Geosci. Model Dev., 2017.

PDF Code Project



Financial planning for natural disasters: the case of flooding risk in Central Java


A GIS flood model that couples surface and drainage flows


I taught two postgraduates courses:

  • 2019: Natural Hazard and Catastrophe Modelling for Environmental Management (18GYP036), Loughborough University.
  • 2017-2018: Hydroinformatics, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.


  • [email protected]
  • Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua, Paseo Cuauhnáhuac 8532, Progreso 62550, Morelos, Mexico