Flood spatial modeling in Northern Iran using remote sensing and GIS: A comparison between evidential belief functions and its ensemble with a multivariate logistic regression model

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Remote Sensing, 2019, 11 (13)
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© 2019 by the authors. Floods are some of the most dangerous and most frequent natural disasters occurring in the northern region of Iran. Flooding in this area frequently leads to major urban, financial, anthropogenic, and environmental impacts. Therefore, the development of flood susceptibility maps used to identify flood zones in the catchment is necessary for improved flood management and decision making. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of an Evidential Belief Function (EBF) model, both as an individual model and in combination with Logistic Regression (LR) methods, in preparing flood susceptibility maps for the Haraz Catchment in the Mazandaran Province, Iran. The spatial database created consisted of a flood inventory, altitude, slope angle, plan curvature, TopographicWetness Index (TWI), Stream Power Index (SPI), distance from river, rainfall, geology, land use, and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the region. After obtaining the required information from various sources, 151 of 211 recorded flooding points were used for model training and preparation of the flood susceptibility maps. For validation, the results of the models were compared to the 60 remaining flooding points. The Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve was drawn, and the Area Under the Curve (AUC) was calculated to obtain the accuracy of the flood susceptibility maps prepared through success rates (using training data) and prediction rates (using validation data). The AUC results indicated that the EBF, EBF from LR, EBF-LR (enter), and EBF-LR (stepwise) success rates were 94.61%, 67.94%, 86.45%, and 56.31%, respectively, and the prediction rates were 94.55%, 66.41%, 83.19%, and 52.98%, respectively. The results showed that the EBF model had the highest accuracy in predicting flood susceptibility within the catchment, in which 15% of the total areas were located in high and very high susceptibility classes, and 62% were located in low and very low susceptibility classes. These results can be used for the planning and management of areas vulnerable to floods in order to prevent flood-induced damage; the results may also be useful for natural disaster assessment.
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