Natural Hazards

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 1561–1572 | Cite as

A DEM-based evaluation of potential flood risk to enhance decision support system for safe evacuation

  • Jinyoung Kim
  • Yuji Kuwahara
  • Manish Kumar
Original Paper


A practical, DEM-based practical method is proposed to enhance flood risk management in fluvial areas by quantifying relative risk as a function of vulnerability to inland and evacuation difficulty. Both measures are based mainly on the topography of the region, so the method does not require detailed data on the physical characteristics of the land. First, we use the deterministic 8-node method on a digital elevation map (DEM) to trace storm waterways. Second, we repeat the process on a reversed DEM to trace evacuation routes that avoid the waterways and zones dangerously close to the rivers. Finally, on the basis of such two flow lines of evacuee and storm water, we proposed the protocol to evaluate the flood risk at every point on the map taking into account both the minimum time required for floodwater to arrive and duration of an evacuation from that location. The time that must be allocated for safe evacuation is defined as the potential flood risk of evacuation (PFRE). The method is demonstrated on a fluvial area of the Kaki River in Nagaoka city, Japan. In addition, we illustrated the application of the PFRE map to divide the region into areas of greater or lesser evacuation urgency.


Digital elevation model (DEM) Evacuation Flood preparedness Flood hazard Fluvial area Potential flood risk of evacuation (PFRE) 



This work was supported by the Institute for Global Change Adaptation Science (ICAS) of Ibaraki University, Japan. We thank Mr. Miyagi for his initial cooperation. All the concerned parties of Nagaoka city are also gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urban EngineeringThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Ibaraki UniversityIbarakiJapan
  3. 3.Tezpur UniversityNapaamIndia

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