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Evaluating the Efficacy of Different DEMs for Application in Flood Frequency and Risk Mapping of the Indian Coastal River Basin

May, 2023

Article Type: Research Article

Journal Name: Climate

DOI: 10.3390/cli11050114 move

Issue: 5 | Volume: 11 | Page No: 114


Floods are among the most occurring natural hazards that cause severe damage to infrastructure and loss of life. In India, southern Gujarat is affected during the monsoon season, facing multiple flood events in the Damanganga basin. As the basin is one of the data-scarce regions, evaluating the globally available dataset for flood risk mitigation studies in the Damanganga basin is crucial. In the present study, we compared four open-source digital elevation models (DEMs) (SRTM, Cartosat-1, ALOS-PALSAR, and TanDEMX) for hydrodynamic (HD) modeling and flood risk mapping. The simulated HD models for multiple flood events using HEC-RAS v6.3 were calibrated by adopting different roughness coefficients based on land-use land cover, observed water levels at gauge sites, and peak flood depths in the flood plain. In contrast to the previous studies on the Purna river basin (the neighboring basin of Damanganga), the present study shows that Cartosat-1 DEM provides reliable results with the observed flood depth. Furthermore, the calibrated HD model was used to determine the flood risk corresponding to 10, 25, 50, and 100-year return period floods calculated using Gumbel’s extreme value (GEV) and log-Pearson type III (LP-III) distribution techniques. Comparing the obtained peak floods corresponding to different return periods with the observed peak floods revealed that the LP-III method gives more reliable estimates of flood peaks for lower return periods, while the GEV method gives comparatively more reliable estimates for higher return period floods. The study shows that evaluating different open-source data and techniques is crucial for developing reliable flood mitigation plans with practical implications.