Risk Assessment and Mapping of Flash Flood Vulnerable Zones in Arid Region, Fujairah City, UAE-Using Remote Sensing and GIS-Based Analysis

P. Subraelu, Alaa Ahmed, Abdel Azim Ebraheem, Mohsen Sherif, Shaher Bano Mirza, Fouad Lamghari Ridouane, Ahmed Sefelnasr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A flash flood is the most common natural hazard that endangers people’s lives, the economy, and infrastructure. Watershed management and planning are essential for reducing flood damages, particularly in residential areas, and mapping flash flood-sensitive zones. Flash flooding is an interface dynamic between geoterrain system factors such as geology, geomorphology, soil, drainage density, slope, and flood, rather than only water movement from higher to lower elevation. Consequently, the vulnerability to flash floods necessitates an awareness of and mapping topographical features. A flash flood vulnerable zones (FFVZ) map is essential for thorough flash flood risk assessment and management to minimize its detrimental effects, particularly in residential areas, especially in cities like Fujairah with seven wadis flowing into the city and even though it has two main dams and fifteen breaker dams. So, in this work, eight satellite image-derived parameters rainfall, elevation, slope, land use/land cover (LULC), drainage density, geology, geomorphology, and soil were combined to predict the flash flood-vulnerable zones using a weighted overlay technique based on geographic information systems (GIS). Each element of the thematic maps is ranked and weighted according to how vulnerable it is to flash floods in the study area, with 55 km2 being classified as a very highly vulnerable area, 78 km2 as a high-risk area, 9.3 km2 as a moderate risk area, 70 km2 as a low vulnerable area, and 257 km2 as a very low vulnerable area. In addition, places with a very high vulnerability level include the Fujairah Airport, Fujairah Port, some residential neighborhoods in the city’s center, oil storage areas, two hospitals, and universities. Additionally, from 1990 to the present, Landsat and Sentinel 2 data showed consistent changes in vegetation and built-up areas. Therefore, in addition to helping policy and decision-makers make the best choices about the efficacy of the study area’s protective structures against the risk of flash floods in the future, the results can also be a valuable source of information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2802
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • GIS
  • Geo-spatial analysis
  • flash flood mapping
  • remote sensing
  • vulnerable zones
  • weighted overlay analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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