Flash flood simulation for Tabuk City catchment, Saudi Arabia

  • Eyad Abushandi
Original Paper


In January 2013, the city of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia suffered a huge flash flood that caused damage to infrastructure and the death of many people. Reliable predictions are one of the key challenges for successful flash flood management in the Tabuk area. In this research paper, two state-of-the-art hydrological models, that is, the Identification of unit Hydrograph and Component flows from Rainfall, Evaporation and Streamflow (IHACRES) and Soil Conservation Service (SCS) lumped models, have been used and compared based on ensemble mode to reduce modelling uncertainty. A successful approach to reducing uncertainty in the hydrological models in this paper is to implement a modern video technique using a camera installed in the field. The suitability of the models is then ranked according to their performance regarding different aspects of flash floods. The average flow rate estimated based on the video record technique at Wadi Abu Nishayfah Bridge was 2.35 m3/s, while the average flow rates from IHACRES and SCS simulations were 3.1 and 1.7 m3/s, respectively. The IHACRES and SCS simulations can be reasonably applied for the Tabuk area to predict floods in the wadis. Video imagery for flood records needs to be validated to minimise uncertainty. However, video techniques can be a very effective tool in arid areas.


Arid region Tabuk area Flash flood IHACRES SCS Video technique 



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support for this work from the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR), University of Tabuk, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, under grant no. S-0039/1435, and the on-going project entitled “Flash Floods Assessment and Management over Tabuk Area: Causes, Dangers and Solutions (Field Study).”


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringSohar UniversitySoharOman

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