Identifying urban areas prone to flash floods using GIS – preliminary results
Marzena Wicht and Katarzyna Osinska-Skotak
Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Geodesy and Cartography, Department of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and GIS, Pl. Politechniki 1, 00-661 Warsaw
Received: 30 Sep 2016 – Accepted for review: 14 Oct 2016 – Discussion started: 24 Oct 2016
Abstract. The aim of this study is to develop a consistent methodology to determine urban areas that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of heavy, rapid rains. They are, as a result of climate change, more and more prevalent in the temperate climate, usually spring – summer from mid-May to late August – and involve the risk of flash floods. In recent years, the increase in incidences of such phenomena is noticeable throughout the whole of Europe. It is assumed that through the analysis of environmental and infrastructural conditions, using the developed methodology, it is possible to determine areas vulnerable to flooding due to torrential rains. This may lead to a better management, quicker response in case of a phenomenon, and even preventative measures to reduce the occurrence of adverse effects of torrential rains (for instance modernisation of the urban drainage system and development of methods to get rid of rapidly collected water). Identifying areas particularly vulnerable to the effects of heavy rains can be achieved by adapting hydrological models, but they require an appropriate adjustment and highly accurate input data: (based in situ or radar measurements of precipitation, land cover, soil type, humidity, wind speed, vegetation species in a given area, growing season, the roughness and porosity of the cover and soil moisture) but such detailed data are generally hard to obtain or not available for less developed areas. It could also be achieved by performing spatial analysis in GIS environment, which is a more simplified form of modelling, but it gives results more quickly and the methodology can be adapted to the commonly available data. The proposed methodology was tested in Warsaw's central sub-district – Powiśle.
Wicht, M. and Osinska-Skotak, K.: Identifying urban areas prone to flash floods using GIS – preliminary results, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-518, 2016.