Local land subsidence exacerbates inundation hazard to the Kujukuri Plain, Japan

Ouyang, Mao; Ito, Yuka; Tokunaga, Tomochika

Flood-inundation hazard maps are generally made based on the anticipated flood patterns under the configurations such as current topography and land use/land cover situations. These maps have not taken into account the possible significance of land subsidence and surface environmental changes. The Kujukuri Plain, Japan, the site of this research, has experienced severe land subsidence due to 2011 Tohoku earthquake. This paper aims to quantify the effects of local land subsidence on flood hazards under heavy rainfalls in the Kujukuri Plain. The high-resolution LiDAR data at two different periods (before and after the Tohoku earthquake) were obtained and used as the input data for the physically-based hydrological model. Through the comparison of simulated inundation areas of the scenarios with the same precipitation pattern but different topographies, the effect of land subsidence was discussed. The maps estimating the inundation areas by only considering rainfalls, i.e., without taking into account the effect of land subsidence, underestimated the inundation areas by around 10 % compared with the ones that accounted for the local land subsidence. The results of this study highlight the importance of taking into account the temporal changes of elevations and other parameters in flood hazard assessments.

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Ouyang, Mao / Ito, Yuka / Tokunaga, Tomochika: Local land subsidence exacerbates inundation hazard to the Kujukuri Plain, Japan. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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