Natural Hazards

, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 455–475 | Cite as

Urban flood susceptibility analysis using a GIS-based multi-criteria analysis framework

  • Lin Lin
  • Zening WuEmail author
  • Qiuhua Liang
Original Paper


Pluvial flooding is a common type of natural hazard caused by rainfall events with high intensity and short duration, which may lead to substantial property damages, transportation interruptions, and casualties. Modern cities are susceptible to pluvial flooding due to dense population and advanced economic development. To facilitate the development of better flood control and risk mitigation strategies, this study presents a new quantitative flood susceptibility analysis framework to estimate the potential flood extents and scale. The framework is based on the multi-criteria decision-making methods within a platform of the geographic information system (GIS). A composite urban flood risk index (FRI) is derived from various flood conditioning factors. The FRI consists of flood vulnerability index, hazard factors, and resilience capacity indicators. The flood-susceptible map is generated using the GIS spatial analysis tools and the analytic hierarchy process method. Zhengzhou city, China, is selected as the case study area. The result map shows that the highly susceptible areas are mainly located in Jinshui District, accounting for 64% of the total area of the risk zone. To further validate this framework, a flood inventory map is produced by mapping 74 test locations identified through survey data in this area, followed by plotting a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. The ROC shows an area under the curve of 74.27%, which validates the proposed framework. Compared with other methods, the proposed framework is particularly suitable for application in data-scarce cases.


Susceptibility MCDM GIS AHP 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51739009). The first author thanks the China Scholarship Council for providing funding to support her 1-year study at Newcastle University, UK. The authors thank relevant government departments and colleagues for providing meteorological and hydrological data. We also thank reviewers for their insightful comments that have helped improve this manuscript.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Water Conservancy and EnvironmentZhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Architecture, Building and Civil EngineeringLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

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