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How Can Gis Be Used To Estimate Flood Damage?

We are currently in the rainy season here in Nigeria. In many areas, as people are happy to have the rains, including farmers and ranchers, others are unhappy due to the damages the heavy rains could cause to roads and properties. 

Many parts of the country are known to be unable to withhold the impact of heavy rains which can lead to flooding, erosion, damage to buildings and infrastructure, loss of crops and livestock, and landslides that can threaten human life and disrupt transport and communication.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provides a broad range of tools for determining areas affected by floods and for forecasting areas that are likely to be flooded due to high water levels in a river. GIS will be extensively used to assemble information from different maps, aerial photographs, satellite images, and digital elevation models (DEM).

How Can Gis Be Used To Estimate Flood Damage? How Can Gis Be Used To Estimate Flood Damage?

Input parameters such as flood data, land use, socioeconomic data, and rainfall values are used to estimate flood damage. For any particular geographic area, it is important to have certain tools and software. These programs and data sets are top-notch for the GIS researcher. 

Computer programs:

  • ArcGIS 10 (ArcView)
  • HEC-GeoHMS for ArcGIS 10
  • HEC-GeoRAS for ArcGIS 10
  • ArcHydro tools (the version that works with ArcGIS 10)

 

Required Datasets:

 

  • Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for the study area; 
  • SSURGO soil data;
  • Land cover grid from USGS;
  • Hydrography data

 

Several models and tools can be developed using these parameters. It all depends on the discretion of the researcher, their knowledge, expertise, and the purpose of the research. 

If used properly, these tools can be used to determine information, including hazard, vulnerability, financial losses, the risk to life, and prevention, and control of dangerous floods. 

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