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Urban flood exposure assessment and mapping: Buildings and population

Authors: Mohammad Khalid Hossain*, Mississippi State University, Qingmin Meng, Mississippi State University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Hazards and Vulnerability, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Flood risk severity, Flood exposure, Urban vulnerability, Spatial multi-criteria analysis, Thematic mapping
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Using Birmingham city, Alabama (AL), USA as the study area, the objective of this research is to assess potential damage risks due to directly flood exposure of buildings and population in an urban area. There are different social and environmental factors that influence urban floods in Birmingham. This paper considered elevation, slope, distance to a river, flow accumulation, land-use, and geology as the significant influential factors to urban flooding. The flood risk model was developed by assigning the weights to each factor, which shows the level of flood risk in the floodplain area of Birmingham. This study found that Valley Creek area is the highest flood risk zone in Birmingham, and about 48.85 percent of Valley Creek’s floodplain area will face very high flood risk. The findings further reveal that a total number of 5,602 people are living in high and very high flood risk zones in Birmingham that approximates 44.04 percent of the total population in this floodplain area. The physical vulnerability is also assessed in this research, and findings suggest that the Valley Creek has the highest percentage of residential (i.e., 56.14%) and commercial (i.e., 75.34%) buildings located in the very high flood risk zones. Our study will help the city government officials and the local communities to locate the areas and buildings from the most to the least risks in Birmingham, and the number of vulnerable populations within each risk category are also estimated and summarized.

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