Water Resources Management

, Volume 25, Issue 13, pp 3465–3484 | Cite as

A GIS-Based Spatial Multi-Criteria Approach for Flood Risk Assessment in the Dongting Lake Region, Hunan, Central China

  • Yamei Wang
  • Zhongwu Li
  • Zhenghong Tang
  • Guangming Zeng


Floods, the most common natural hazard in the world, cause serious loss in terms of lives, buildings, and infrastructures. As a consequence, the need for flood risk assessment has become critical. Using a semi-quantitative model and fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP) weighting approach, this paper assessed flood risk in the Dongting Lake region, Hunan Province, Central China, an area where flood hazards frequently occur. The model was designed using spatial multi-criteria analysis (SMCA) techniques in a Geographic Information System (GIS). A GIS database of indicators for the evaluation of hazard and vulnerability was created. Each indicator was analyzed, standardized, and weighted; after which, the weights of the indicators were combined to obtain the final flood risk index map. Using the flood risk index, the study area was classified into five categories of flood risk: very low, low, medium, high, and very high. The high and very high risk zones are mainly concentrated in the northern and central plains. The results obtained can provide useful information for decision makers and insurance companies.


Floods Risk assessment Multi-criteria analysis Indicators GIS China 



The study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (40971170, 51039001), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-09-330), and the National 863 High Technologies Research of China (Grant No.2007AA10Z222).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yamei Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhongwu Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhenghong Tang
    • 3
  • Guangming Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringHunan UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Ministry of EducationKey Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University)ChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Community and Regional Planning Program, 313 Architecture Hall, College of ArchitectureUniversity of Nebraska—LincolnLincolnUSA

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