Identifying the risk areas and urban growth by ArcGIS-tools

Omar Hamdy, Shichen Zhao, Mohamed A. Salheen, Youhansen Y. Eid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Abouelreesh is one of the most at risk areas in Aswan, Egypt, which suffers from storms, poor drainage, and flash flooding. These phenomena affect the urban areas and cause a lot of damage to buildings and infrastructure. Moreover, the potential for the further realization of dangerous situations increased when the urban areas of Abouelreesh extended towards the risk areas. In an effort to ameliorate the danger, two key issues for urban growth management were studied, namely: (i) estimations regarding the pace of urban sprawl, and (ii) the identification of urban areas located in regions that would be affected by flash floods. Analyzing these phenomena require a lot of data in order to obtain good results, but in our case, the official data or field data was limited so we tried to obtain it by accessing two kinds of free sources of satellite data. First, we used Arc GIS tools to analyze (digital elevation model (DEM)) files in order to study the watershed and better identify the risk area. Second, we studied historical imagery in Google Earth to determine the age of each urban block. The urban growth rate in the risk areas had risen to 63.31% in 2001. Urban growth in the case study area had been influenced by house sizes, because most people were looking to live in bigger houses. The aforementioned problem can be observed by considering the increasing average house sizes from 2001 until 2013, where, especially in risky areas, the average of house sizes had grown from 223 m2 in 2001 to 318 m2 in 2013. The findings from this study would be useful to urban planners and government officials in helping them to make informed decisions on urban development to benefit the community, especially those living in areas at risk from flash flooding from heavy rain events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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