Flash Flood Risk Assessment for Kyushu Island, Japan

Mohammad Shehata, Hideki Mizunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Using advanced geospatial analysis technologies, flash flood risk is assessed for the island of Kyushu, Japan. In this study, the flash flood risk is redefined in terms of the flash flood potential index (FFPI) and the flash flood residential hazard (FFRH). The island experiences rainy weather, especially in the summer (June–August), when catastrophic flash flood events have historically occurred. Studies of the surface hydrological properties of the island are very rare and localized; hence, geospatial techniques are most appropriate for the assessment process. The Soil Conservation Service rainfall-runoff model was used to estimate hydrological responses on the island. Four factors were included in the flash flood assessment. A multi-criteria analysis was carried out to map the FFPI and FFRH from the evaluation factors. The results show that the highest flash flood risk occurs in the northern parts of the island, where the soil displays relatively low infiltration rates and relatively high curve numbers, despite the comparatively low precipitation rates that occur there. The results indicate that soil hydrological properties are the main driving forces of flash floods, especially in regions with low precipitation rates. The results of this research are consistent with previous in situ measurements of runoff made at several sites on the island. The results also show a strong geographic correlation with historical flash flood events on the island. This research validates the use of geospatial analysis for large geographic regions where in situ measurements cannot be taken due to time or cost constraints. The results of this study provide decision makers with the information needed to select a management strategy to address possible future flash flood events that considers safety and water harvesting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number76
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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