Agricultural Flood Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Quantification in Iowa

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 1 of this Preprint.


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Enes Yildirim, Ibrahim Demir


Agricultural lands are often impacted by flooding, which results in economic losses and causes food insecurity across the world. Due to the world’s growing population, land-use alteration is frequently practiced to meet global demand. However, land-use changes combined with climate change have resulted in extreme hydrological changes (i.e., flooding and drought) in many areas. The state of Iowa has experienced several flooding events over the last couple of decades (e.g., 1993, 2008, 2014, 2016, 2019). Also, agribusiness is conducted across 85 percent of the state. In this research, we present a comprehensive assessment for agricultural flood risk in the state of Iowa utilizing most up-to-date flood inundation maps and crop layer raster datasets. The study analyzes the seasonal variation of the statewide agricultural flood risk by focusing on corn, soybean, and alfalfa crops. It also investigates the crop frequency layers and corn suitability rating datasets to reveal regions with lower or higher productivity ratings. Additionally, a terrain-based flood model is used to analyze performance against the FEMA maps. The research discusses the potential mitigation activities for the most vulnerable watersheds in the state. The analysis shows that nearly a half-million acres of cornfields and soybean fields are located in the 2-year flood zone. We also found that terrain-based flood maps are a reliable alternative for agricultural flood risk assessment based on their dynamic structure, rapid update capability, and performance compared to FEMA maps.



Engineering, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


flood risk quantification, agricultural vulnerability, flood vulnerability, flood risk assessment, floods, Agricultural Vulnerability, Flood Vulnerability, flood risk assessment, floods


Published: 2021-12-31 03:40

Last Updated: 2021-12-31 11:40


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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