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Flood vulnerability mapping in an urban area with high levels of impermeable coverage in southern Brazil

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Flooding is one of the main social impacts in urban areas, especially in larger, densely impermeable cities. Therefore, developing studies capable of identifying areas that are vulnerable to this type of event is crucial to provide early warning and a quick and effective response to reduce damages. Thus, this study sought to identify areas vulnerable to flood in the Igapó Lake Basin, a densely urbanized area in Lodrina city, southern Brazil. The methodology was based on four main steps: (1) basin characterization, (2) elaboration of the conditioning factors of the flooding by using the analysis hierarchical process (AHP), (3) vulnerability analysis in the GIS environment, (4) and model sensitivity analysis. The parameters considered in this study were as follows: flow concentration, land use, slope, distance from the discharge channel, and altimetry. The proposed methodology has proven to be robust in identifying flood-vulnerable areas. The results revealed that approximately 3.1 km2 (10.3%) of the basin are considered areas of high or very high vulnerability to flood events, affecting many residential buildings, the most abundant land use class in the investigated area. In conclusion, this study sheds light on the intricate interplay between vulnerability to flooding, land use changes, urban development patterns, and resilience measures, offering valuable insights for policymakers and urban planners striving to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).


The authors received funding from grant 068/2019 (Fundação Araucária PI 05/2019 Água JPI), within the scope of the international consortium research–based assessment of an integrated approach to nature-based solutions (RainSolutions)—CONFAP Water JPI Cooperation Program 2018 Joint Call.

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Correspondence to Ronaldo Adriano Alves.

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Communicated by Wolfgang Cramer

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Alves, R.A., Rudke, A.P., de Melo Souza, S.T. et al. Flood vulnerability mapping in an urban area with high levels of impermeable coverage in southern Brazil. Reg Environ Change 24, 96 (2024).

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