Flash Flood Hazard Mapping Using Satellite Images and GIS Tools: A case study of Najran City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

June 28, 2021


Flash flood in the cities led to high levels of water in the streets and roads, causing many problems such as bridge collapse, building damage and traffic problems. It is impossible to avoid risks of floods or prevent their occurrence, however it is plausible to work on the reduction of their effects and to reduce the losses which they may cause. Flash flood mapping to identify sites in high risk flood zones is one of the powerful tools for this purpose. Mapping flash flood will be beneficial to urban and infrastructure planners, risk managers and disaster response or emergency services during extreme and intense rainfall events. The objective of this paper is to generate flash flood map for Najran city, Saudi Arabia, using satellite images and GIS tools. To do so, we use SPOT and SRTM DEMs data for which accuracy assessment is achieved by using check points, obtained by GPS observations. Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) is used to determine relative impact weight of flood causative factors to get a composite flood hazard index (FHI). The causative factors in this study are runoff, soil type, surface slope, surface roughness, drainage density, distance to main channel and land use. All used data are finally integrated in an ArcMap to prepare a final flood hazard map for study area. The areas in high risk flood zones are obtained by overlaying the flood hazard index map with the zone boundaries layer. The affected population number and land area are determined and compared.



Flash flood


Flood hazard index

Satellite image

Remote sensing


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