Flood hazard assessment of upper Jhelum basin using morphometric parameters

  • M. Sultan Bhat
  • Akhtar Alam
  • Shabir AhmadEmail author
  • Hakim Farooq
  • Bashir Ahmad
Original Article


Morphometric parameters can be useful tools to provide general understanding of physical characteristics of drainage basin with respect to floods. To evaluate the flood influencing factors in the upper Jhelum basin, we delineate the upper Jhelum basin into ten sub-basins, followed by extraction of drainage network and morphometric parameters using Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer digital elevation model and topographic maps in Geographic Information System. The overall flood potential was determined on the basis of compound value obtained for all morphometric parameters of each sub-basin. The analysis reveals that, in general, the northeastern segment of the upper Jhelum basin reveals comparative higher flood potential than the southwestern segment. The tributaries, such as Lidder, Veshav, Arapal, Arapat, and Bring, exhibit greater potential to produce peak flows during rainfall events, while the tributaries like Dudhganga, Rambiara, Sandran, Romushi, and Sasara express moderate-to-low flood potential, respectively. The results of this study are likely to be very useful for effective flood hazard mitigation in upper Jhelum floodplain.


Flood hazard evaluation Morphometric parameters Upper Jhelum basin Kashmir valley 



The authors wish to thank James W. LaMoreaux (Editor-in-Chief) for handling the manuscript. We are also grateful to all the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on the manuscript. Financial support provided by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) order No. MoES/P.O.(Geosci)30/2014 is highly acknowledged.


  1. Adhikari P, Hong Y, Douglas KR, Kirschbaum DB, Gourley J, Adler R, Brakenridge GR (2010) A digitized global flood inventory (1998–2008): compilation and preliminary results. Nat Hazards 55:405–422. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmad S (2014) Extension of out-of-sequence Balapur Fault and identification of other active faults on the eastern front of the Pir Panjal range, Kashmir valley, Ph.D. thesis. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Kashmir, p 174Google Scholar
  3. Ahmad S, Bhat MI (2012) Tectonic geomorphology of the Rambiara basin, SW Kashmir Valley reveals emergent out-of-sequence active fault system. Himal Geol 33(2):162–172Google Scholar
  4. Ahmad S, Bhat MI, Madden C, Bali BS (2013) Geomorphic analysis reveals active tectonic deformation on the eastern flank of the Pir Panjal Range, Kashmir Valley, India. Arab J Geosci. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ahmad S, Alam A, Ahmad B, Bhat MI, Bhat MS (2015) Geomorphic evidence of unrecognized Balapur fault segment in the southwest Kashmir basin of northwest Himalayas. Geomorphology 250:159–172Google Scholar
  6. Ahmad S, Alam A, Ahmad B, Afzal A, Bhat MI, Bhat MS, Ahmad FA (2017) Tectono-geomorphic indices of the Erin basin, NE Kashmir valley, India. J Asian Earth Sci 151:16–30Google Scholar
  7. Ahmed SA, Chandrashekarappa KN, Raj SK, Nischitha V, Kavitha G (2010) Evaluation of morphometric parameters derived from ASTER and SRTM DEM—a study on Bandihole sub-watershed basin in Karnataka. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 38:227–238Google Scholar
  8. Alam A, Ahmad S, Bhat MS, Ahmad B (2015) Tectonic evolution of Kashmir basin in northwest Himalayas. Geomorphology 239:114–126Google Scholar
  9. Alam A, Bhat MS, Kotlia BS, Ahmad B. Ahmad S. Taloor AK, Ahmad HF (2017) Coexistent pre-existing extensional and subsequent compressional tectonic deformation in the Kashmir basin, NW Himalaya. Quat Int 444:201–208Google Scholar
  10. Alam A, Bhat MS, Farooq H, Ahmad B, Ahmad S, Sheikh AH (2018) Flood risk assessment of Srinagar city in Jammu and Kashmir, India. Int J Disaster Resil Built Environ 9(2):114–129. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Al-Fugara A (2015) Comparison and validation of the recent freely available DEMs over part of the earth’s lowest elevation area: Dead Sea, Jordan. Int J Geosci 6:1221–1232. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Altaf F, Meraj G, Romshoo SA (2013) Morphometric analysis to infer hydrological behaviour of Lidder Watershed, Western Himalaya, India. Hindawi Publishing Corporation. Geogr J. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Altaf S, Meraj G, Romshoo SA (2014) Morphometry and land cover based multi-criteria analysis for assessing the soil erosion susceptibility of the western Himalayan watershed. Environ Monit Assess. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Altin TB, Altin BN (2011) Drainage morphometry and its influence on landforms in volcanic terrain, Central Anatolia, Turkey. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 19:732–740Google Scholar
  15. Baumgardner R (1987) Morphometric studies of sub-humid and semiarid drainage basin. In: Texas Panhandle and Northeastern New Mexico. University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Report of Investigations, 163Google Scholar
  16. Benson MA (1964) Factors affecting the occurrence of floods in the Southwest. USGS water supply paper, 1580-D, pp 1–72Google Scholar
  17. Bertolo F (2000) Catchment delineation and characterisation, catchment characterisation and modelling Euro landscape project. Space Application Institute, Joint Research Center, IspraGoogle Scholar
  18. Berz G, Kron W, Loster T, Rauch E, Schimetschek J, Schmieder J et al (2001) World map of natural hazards—a global view of the distribution and intensity of significant exposures. Nat Hazards 23(2–3):443–465Google Scholar
  19. Bhat MI (1982) Thermal and tectonic evolution of Kashmir basin vis-à-vis petroleum prospects. Tectonophysics 88:117–132Google Scholar
  20. Bhat MS, Alam A, Ahmad B, Kotlia BS, Farooq H, Taloor AK, Ahmad S (2018) Flood frequency analysis of river Jhelum in Kashmir basin. Quat Int. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Bhatt DK (1989) Lithostratigraphy of the Karewa Group, Kashmir valley, India and a critical review of its fossil record. Mem Geol Surv India 122:1–85Google Scholar
  22. Bhatt S, Ahmed SA (2014) Morphometric analysis to determine floods in the Upper Krishna basin using Cartosat DEM. Geocarto Int 29(8):878–894. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Bhatt CM, Rao GS, Farooq M, Manjusree P, Shukla A, Sharma SVSP, Kulkarni SS, Begum A, Bhanumurthy V, Diwakar PG, Dadhwal VK (2016) Satellite-based assessment of the catastrophic Jhelum floods of September 2014, Jammu & Kashmir, India. Geomat Nat Hazards Risk. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Bilham R, Bali BS (2013) A ninth century earthquake-induced landslide and flood in the Kashmir Valley, and earthquake damage to Kashmir’s Medieval temples. Bull Earthq Eng 12:79–109. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Bilham R, Singh B, Bhat I, Hough S, 2010, Historical earthquakes in Srinagar, Kashmir: clues from the Shiva Temple at Pandrethan. In: Sintubin M, Stewart IS, Niemi TM, Altunel E (eds) Ancient earthquakes, Geological Society of America Special Paper, vol 471, pp 107–117Google Scholar
  26. Boulton AG (1968) Morphometric analysis of river basin characteristics. J Hydrol 6(2):227Google Scholar
  27. Bronger A, Pant RK, Singhvi AK (1987) Pleistocene climatic changes and landscape evolution in the Kashmir Basin, India: Paleopedologic and Chronostratigraphic studies. Quat Res 27:167–181Google Scholar
  28. Burbank DW (1983) The chronology of intermontane-basin development in the northwest Himalaya and the evolution of the Northwest Syntaxis. Earth Planet Sci Lett 64:77–92Google Scholar
  29. CEOS (2003) The use of earth observing satellites for hazard support: assessments and scenarios. Final report of the CEOS Disaster Management Support Group (DMSG)Google Scholar
  30. Chorley RJ (1969) Introduction to fluvial processes. Methuen and Co. Limited, London, p 588Google Scholar
  31. Chorley RJ, Malm DEG, Pogorzelski HA (1957) A new standard for estimating basin shape. Am J Sci 255:138–141Google Scholar
  32. Chow VT (1964) Handbook of applied hydrology: a compendium of water-resources technology. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Chow VT, Maidment DR, Mays LW (1988) Applied hydrology. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. Clark JJ (1966) Morphometry from map, essays in geomorphology. Elsevier, New York, pp 235–274Google Scholar
  35. Costa JE (1987) Hydraulics and basin morphometry of the largest flash floods in the conterminous United States. J Hydrol 93:313–338Google Scholar
  36. Dev JS (1983) Natural calamities of Jammu and Kashmir state. Ariana Publishing House, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  37. Esper Angillieri MY (2008) Morphometric analysis of Colanguil river basin and flash flood hazard, San Juan, Argentina. Environ Geol 55:107–111Google Scholar
  38. Eze BE, Efiong J (2010) Morphometric parameters of the Calabar River basin: implication for hydrologic processes. J Geogr Geol 2:18–26Google Scholar
  39. Farooqi IA, Desai RN (1974) Stratigraphy of Karewas, India. J Geol Surv India 15(3):299–305Google Scholar
  40. Gardiner V, Park CC (1978) Drainage basin morphometry: review and assessment. Prog Phys Geogr 2(1):1–35. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Gichamo TZ, Popescu I, Jonoski A, Solomatine D (2012) River cross-section extraction from the ASTER global DEM for flood modelling. Environ Model Softw. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Gravelius H (1914) Flusskunde. Goschen Verlagshan dlug Berlin. En Zavoianu, I. 1985. In: Morphometry of drainage basins. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  43. Gregory KJ, Walling DE (1973) Drainage basin form and process: a geomorphological approach. Wiley, New York, p 456Google Scholar
  44. Hadley RF, Schumm SA (1961) Sediment sources and drainage basin characteristics in upper Cheyenne River Basin. USGS Water Suppl 1531-B:198Google Scholar
  45. Horton RE (1932) Drainage basin characteristics. Trans Am Geophys Union 13:350–361Google Scholar
  46. Horton RE (1945) Erosional development of streams and their drainage basins: hydrophysical approach to quantitative morphology. Geol Soc Am Bull 56:275–370Google Scholar
  47. Howard AD (1990) Role of hypsometry and planform in basin hydrologic response. Hydrol Process 4(4):373–385Google Scholar
  48. Jain V, Sinha R (2003) Evaluation of geomorphic control on flood hazard through geomorphic instantaneous unit hydrograph. Curr Sci 85:1596–1600Google Scholar
  49. Javed A, Khanday MY, Ahmed R (2009) Prioritization of sub-watersheds based on morphometric and land use analysis using remote sensing and GIS techniques. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 37:261–274Google Scholar
  50. Keller EA, Pinter N (1996) Active tectonics: earthquakes, uplift, and landscape. Prentice Hall, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  51. Khoihami PGH (1885) Tarikh-i-Hassan, vols. I and II, Folios 511 and 263 (in Persian) Google Scholar
  52. Kochel RC (1988) Geomorphic impact of large floods: review and new perspectives on magnitude and frequency. In: Flood geomorphology. Wiley, New York, pp 169–187Google Scholar
  53. Koul PA (1925) Geography of Jammu and Kashmir State. Thacker Spink, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  54. Krishnan MS (1982) Geology of India and Burma. Higginbotham, Madras, p 536Google Scholar
  55. Kumar R, Acharya P (2016) Flood hazard and risk assessment of 2014 floods in Kashmir Valley: a space-based multisensor approach. Nat Hazards 84:437–464. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lawrence WR (1895) The Valley of Kashmir (reprint), Kesar Publishers, Srinagar (reprint 1884) Google Scholar
  57. Lydekker R (1876) Notes on the geology of the Pir Panjal and neighbouring districts. Rec Geol Surv India 9:155–183Google Scholar
  58. Lykoudi E, Zanis D (2004) The influence of drainage network formation and characteristics over a catchment’s sediment yield. In: Proceedings of second international conference on fluvial hydraulics-river flow. University of Napoli-Federico II, Naples, pp 793–800Google Scholar
  59. Magesh NS, Chandrasekar N, Soundranayagam JP (2011) Morphometric evaluation of Papanasam and Manimuthar watersheds, parts of Western Ghats, Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu, India: a GIS approach. Environ Earth Sci 64(2):373–381Google Scholar
  60. Maidment DR (ed) (2002) Arc Hydro: GIS for water resources. ESRI Press, RedlandsGoogle Scholar
  61. Masoud MH (2016) Geoinformatics application for assessing the morphometric characteristics’ effect on hydrological response at watershed (case study of Wadi Qanunah, Saudi Arabia). Arab J Geosci 9:280. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. McBean G (2004) Climate change and extreme weather: a basis for action. Nat Hazards 31(1):177–190Google Scholar
  63. Melton MA (1957) An analysis of the relations among elements of climate, surface properties, and geomorphology, Technical Report No. 11, Office of Naval Research Project NR 389-042. Department of Geology, Columbia University, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  64. Meraj G, Romshoo SA, Yousuf AR, Altaf S, Altaf F (2015) Assessing the influence of watershed characteristics on the flood vulnerability of Jhelum basin in Kashmir Himalaya. Nat Hazards 77:153–175. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Middlemiss CS (1911) Sections in Pir Panjal and Sindh valley. Kashmir Rec Geol Surv India 41:115–144Google Scholar
  66. Miller VC (1953) A quantitative geomorphic study of drainage basin characteristics in Clinch Mountains Area, Virginia and Tennessee. Technical report, 3 Office of the Naval Research. Department of Geology, Columbia University, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  67. Mishra AK (2015) A study on the occurrence of flood events over Jammu and Kashmir during September 2014 using satellite remote sensing. Nat Hazards 78:1463–1467. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Montgomery DR, Dietrich WE (1989) Source areas, drainage density and channel initiation. Water Resour Res 25:1907–1918Google Scholar
  69. Morgan RPC (2005) Soil erosion and conservation. Blackwell Publishing, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  70. Muralikrishnan S, Pillai A, Narender B, Reddy S, Venkataraman VR, Dadhwal VK (2013) Validation of Indian national DEM from Cartosat-1 data. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 41:1–13Google Scholar
  71. Murphey JB, Wallace DE, Lane LJ (1977) Geomorphic parameters predict hydrograph characteristics in the Southwest. Water Resour Bull 13:25–38Google Scholar
  72. Nag SK, Chakraborty S (2003) Influence of rock types and structures in the development of drainage network in hard rock area. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 31(1):25–35Google Scholar
  73. Ozdemir H, Bird D (2009) Evaluation of morphometric parameters of drainage networks derived from topographic maps and DEM in point floods. Environ Geol 56:1405–1415Google Scholar
  74. Pallard B, Castellarin A, Montanar A (2009) A look at the links between drainage density and flood statistics. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 13:1019–1029Google Scholar
  75. Pant RK, Agrawal DP, Krishnamurthy KV (1978) Scanning electron microscopic and other studies on Karewa beds of Kashmir, India. In: Whalley WB (ed) Scanning electron microscopy in the study of sediments. Geoabstracts, Norwich, pp 275–282Google Scholar
  76. Patel DP, Dholakia MB, Naresh N, Srivastava PK (2012) Water harvesting structure positioning by using geo-visualization concept and prioritization of mini-watersheds through morphometric analysis in the lower Tapi basin. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 40:299–312Google Scholar
  77. Patton PC (1988) Drainage basin morphometry and floods. In: Baker VR, Kochel RC, Patton PC (eds) Flood geomorphology. Wiley, USA, pp 51–65Google Scholar
  78. Patton PC, Baker VR (1976) Morphometry and floods in small drainage basins subject to diverse hydrogeomorphic controls. Water Resour Res 12:941–952Google Scholar
  79. Peduzzi P, Dao H, Herold C, Mouton F (2009) Assessing global exposure and vulnerability towards natural hazards: the Disaster Risk Index. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 9(4):1149–1159Google Scholar
  80. Potter KW, Faulkner EB (1987) Catchment response time as a predictor of flood quantiles. J Am Water Resour Assoc 23(5):857–861Google Scholar
  81. Pradhan B (2010) Remote sensing and GIS-based landslide hazard analysis and cross-validation using multivariate logistic regression model on three test areas in Malaysia. Adv Space Res 45(10):1244–1256Google Scholar
  82. Pradhan B, Lee S (2010) Delineation of landslide hazard areas on Penang Island, Malaysia, by using frequency ratio, logistic regression, and artificial neural network models. Environ Earth Sci 60(5):1037–1054Google Scholar
  83. Rakesh K, Lohani AK, Sanjay CC, Nema RK (2000) GIS based morphometric analysis of Ajay river basin up to Sararath gauging site of south Bihar. J Appl Hydrol 14(4):45–54Google Scholar
  84. Raza M, Ahmad A, Mohammad A (1978) The Valley of Kashmir: geographical interpretation, vol 1. The Land, Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, pp 1–59Google Scholar
  85. Reddy GPO, Maji AK, Gajbhiye KS (2004) Drainage morphometry and its influence on landform characteristics in a basaltic terrain, Central India—a remote sencing and GIS approach. Int J Appl Earth Observ Geoinf 6(1):1–16Google Scholar
  86. Romshoo SA, Bhat SA, Rashid I (2012) Geoinformatics for assessing the morphometric control on hydrological response at watershed scale in the Upper Indus Basin. J Earth Syst Sci 121(3):659–686Google Scholar
  87. Roughani M, Ghafouri M, Tabatabaei M (2007) An innovative methodology for the prioritization of sub-catchments for flood control. Int J Appl Earth Obs Geoinf 9:79–87Google Scholar
  88. Schumm SA (1956) Evolution of drainage system and slope in badlands of Perth Amboy, vol 67. Geological Society of America Bulletin, New Jersey, p 597Google Scholar
  89. Sen D (2010) Flood hazards in India and management strategies. In: Jha MK (ed) Natural and anthropogenic. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  90. Sharma CS, Mishra A, Panda SN (2014) Assessing impact of flood on river dynamics and susceptible regions: geomorphometric analysis. Water Resour Manag 28:2615–2638. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Sherman LK (1932) The relation of hydrographs of runoff to size and character of drainage basin. Trans Am Geophys Union 13:332–339Google Scholar
  92. Singh IB (1982) Sedimentation pattern in the Karewa basin, Kashmir valley, India and its geological significance. J Palaeontol Soc India 27:71–110Google Scholar
  93. Singh O, Kumar M (2013) Flood events, fatalities and damages in India from 1978 to 2006. Nat Hazards 69(3):1815–1834Google Scholar
  94. Singh S, Singh MC (1997) Morphometric analysis of Kanhar river basin. Natl Geogr J India 43(1):31–43Google Scholar
  95. Smith KG (1950) Standards for grading texture of erosional topography. Am J Sci 248:655–668Google Scholar
  96. Sreedevi PD, Subrahmanyam K, Ahmed S (2005) The significance of morphometric analysis for obtaining groundwater potential zones in a structurally controlled terrain. Environ Geol 47:412–420Google Scholar
  97. Sreedevi PD, Owais S, Khan H, Ahmed S (2009) Morphometric analysis of a watershed of South India using SRTM data and GIS. J Geol Soc India 73:543–552Google Scholar
  98. Strahler AN (1957) Quantitative analysis of watershed geomorphology. Trans Am Geophys Union 38:913–920Google Scholar
  99. Tabish SA, Nabil S (2014) Epic tragedy: Jammu and Kashmir floods: a clarion call. Emerg Med 5:1–8. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Thakur VC, Rawat BS (1992) Geologic map of Western Himalaya. Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehra DunGoogle Scholar
  101. Vincent RK (1997) Fundamentals of geological and environmental remote sensing. Prentice-Hall Inc., Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  102. Wadia DN (1975) Geology of India, 4th edn. Tata McGraw-Hill, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  103. Ward RC, Robinson M (2000) Principles of hydrology, 4th edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  104. Wentz EA (2000) A shape definition for geographic applications based on edge, elongation, and perforation. Geogr Anal 32(1):95–112Google Scholar
  105. Youssef AM, Pradhan B, Hassan AM (2011) Flash flood risk estimation along the St. Katherine road, southern Sinai, Egypt using GIS based morphometry and satellite imagery. Environ Earth Sci 62(3):611–623Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Sultan Bhat
    • 1
  • Akhtar Alam
    • 1
  • Shabir Ahmad
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hakim Farooq
    • 1
  • Bashir Ahmad
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Regional DevelopmentUniversity of KashmirSrinagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeologyNawakadal SchoolSrinagarIndia

Personalised recommendations