Natural Hazards

, 48:339 | Cite as

What is responsible for increasing flood risks? The case of Gangwon Province, Korea

  • Heejun Chang
  • Jon Franczyk
  • Changhwan Kim
Original Paper


We examined the anthropogenic and natural causes of flood risks in six representative cities in the Gangwon Province of Korea. Flood damage per capita is mostly explained by cumulative upper 5% summer precipitation amount and the year. The increasing flood damage is also associated with deforestation in upstream areas and intensive land use in lowlands. Human encroachment on floodplains made these urban communities more vulnerable to floods. Without changes in the current flood management systems of these cities, their vulnerability to flood risks will remain and may even increase under changing climate conditions.


Flood risks Climate change Land use management Vulnerability GIS Korea 



This research was funded by a grant (code no. 1-9-3) from the Sustainable Water Resources Research Center of the 21st century Frontier Research Program in Korea. Additional support was provided by an internationalization mini-grant at Portland State University, USA. The Gangwon Province of Korea kindly provided population, 5-m DEM, and land cover data. We appreciate the comments of the anonymous reviewers, which greatly improved the quality of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography EducationKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea

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