PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (9): 1075-1086.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.09.003

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Research progress of surging urban flood risks

Haibo HU   

  1. Institute of Urban Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100089, China
  • Received:2016-02-01 Revised:2016-05-01 Online:2016-09-20 Published:2016-09-20
  • Supported by:
    Foundation: National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41175099; Beijing Natural Science Foundation, No.8142019


Due to the frequent occurrence of floods in urban areas, it is imperative to investigate their causes and determine whether they are mainly the result of global climate change or urbanization induced by human activities. Existing research on the impact of urbanization on urban floods focuses on hazards assessment as well as sensitivity tests. They are critical to risk reduction and severe weather early warning. Precipitation intensity downwind or over cities may be enhanced. Meanwhile the increased areal coverage of impervious surfaces in urban areas can alter the natural hydrologic response. In order to reveal the spatiotemporal characteristics of elevated flood risks in urban areas, by examining published work on the topics, we put forward the following thoughts on future research direction. The first is to use high spatial resolution observation data to determine the distribution of hazards induced by rainstorms in urban areas. The second is to develop suitable hydrological models using high resolution urban land surface data for simulating the hydroclimatic sensitivity of watersheds. The third is to combine rainstorm hazards and sensitivity in risk assessment to reveal the discrepancy of flood risks in urban areas, as well as effects induced by urbanization. Risk assessment identifies flood risks in urban areas and can be useful for risk management, which is essential in risk mitigation.

Key words: flash flood, risk assessment, hydrological model, research progress