Geo-Spatial Analysis of Built-Environment Exposure to Flooding: Iowa Case Study

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Yazeed Alabbad, Ibrahim Demir


Flooding is the most frequent type of natural disaster, inducing devastating damages at large and small spatial scales. Flood exposure analysis is a critical part of flood risk assessment. While most studies analyze the exposure elements separately, it is crucial to perform a multi-parameter exposure analysis and consider different types of flood zones to gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact and make informed mitigation decisions. This research analyzes the population, properties, and road networks exposed to the 100, 200, and 500-year flood events at the county level in the State of Iowa using geospatial analytics. We also proposed a flood exposure index at the county level using fuzzy overlay analysis to help find the most impacted county. During flooding, results indicate that the county-level percentage of displaced population, impacted properties, and road length can reach up to 46%, 41%, and 40%, respectively. We found that the most exposed buildings and roads are laid in residential areas. Also, 25% of the counties are designated as very high-exposure areas. This study can help many stakeholders identify vulnerable areas and ensure equitable distribution of investments and resources toward flood mitigation projects.



Civil and Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Engineering, Risk Analysis


flood exposure, geospatial analysis, floods, fuzzy overlay analysis, Geospatial Analysis, floods, fuzzy overlay analysis


Published: 2023-03-15 17:18

Last Updated: 2023-03-15 17:18


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:

Data Availability (Reason not available):
all data used during the study are shared in the manuscript.