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Assessment of flood hazard based on natural and anthropogenic factors using analytic hierarchy process (AHP)

Abstract

Flooding is the most common natural hazard in Greece, and most of low-lying urban centers are flood-prone areas. Assessment of flood hazard zones is a necessity for rational management of watersheds. In this study, the coupling of the analytical hierarchy process and geographical information systems were used, in order to assess flood hazard, based either on natural or on anthropogenic factors. The proposed method was applied on Kassandra Peninsula, in Northern Greece. The morphometric and hydrographic characteristics of the watersheds were calculated. Moreover, the natural flood genesis factors were examined, and subsequently, the anthropogenic interventions within stream beds were recorded. On the basis of the above elements, two flood hazard indexes were defined, separately for natural and anthropogenic factors. According to the results of these indexes, the watersheds of the study area were grouped into hazard classes. At the majority of watersheds, the derived hazard class was medium (according to the classification) due to natural factors and very high due to anthropogenic. The results were found to converge to historical data of flood events revealing the realistic representation of hazard on the relating flood hazard maps.

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Correspondence to Stefanos Stefanidis.

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Stefanidis, S., Stathis, D. Assessment of flood hazard based on natural and anthropogenic factors using analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Nat Hazards 68, 569–585 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-013-0639-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-013-0639-5

Keywords

  • AHP
  • Flood management
  • Flood hazard analysis
  • GIS