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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-73
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-73
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Feb 2019

Research article | 14 Feb 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Spatiotemporal patterns and driving factors of flood disaster in China

Pan Hu1,2,3, Qiang Zhang1,2,3, Chong-Yu Xu4, Shao Sun5, and Jiayi Fang6 Pan Hu et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 2Faculty of Geographical Science, Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Ministry of Education/Ministry of Civil Affairs, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resources Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 4Department of Geosciences and Hydrology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047, Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway
  • 5National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
  • 6School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai, 200241, China

Abstract. Flood is one of the most disastrous disasters in the world inflicting massive economic losses and deaths on human society, and it is particularly true for China which is the home to the largest population in the world. However, no comprehensive and thorough investigations have been done so far addressing spatiotemporal properties and relevant driving factors of flood disasters in China. Here we investigated changes of flood disasters in both space and time and their driving factors behind using statistical data of the meteorological disasters from Statistical Yearbooks and also hourly rainfall data at 2420 stations covering a period of 1984–2007. GeoDetector method was used to analyze potential driving factors behind flood disasters. We found no consistent extreme rainfall trend across China with exceptions of some sporadic areas. However, recent years witnessed increased frequency of rainstorm-induced flood disasters within China and significant increase in the frequency of flood disasters in the Yangtze River, Pearl River and Southeastern coasts. Meanwhile, reduced flood-related death rates in the regions with increased flood frequency indicated enhanced flood-mitigation infrastructure and facilities. However, increased flood-induced affected rates and direct economic losses per capita were found in the northwestern China. In addition, contributions of influencing factors to the spatio-temporal distribution of flood disasters analyzed by GeoDetector are shifting from one region to another. While we found that rainfall changes play the overwhelming role in driving occurrences of flood disasters, other factors also have considerable impacts on flood disasters and flood disaster-induced losses such as topographical features and spatial patterns of socio-economy. Wherein, topography acts as the key factor behind the characteristics of spatial distribution of flood disasters in China.

Pan Hu et al.
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Short summary
China is the country highly sensitive to flood disasters. Here we investigated flood disasters and relevant driving factors using meteorological disaster records s and also hourly rainfall data. We used the GeoDetector method to analyze potential driving factors behind flood disasters. We found increased rainstorm-induced flood disasters and increase in flood disaster frequency. Meanwhile, reduced flood-related death rates imply enhanced flood-mitigation infrastructure and facilities.
China is the country highly sensitive to flood disasters. Here we investigated flood disasters...
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