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Open AccessArticle

A Depression-Based Index to Represent Topographic Control in Urban Pluvial Flooding

by Huabing Huang 1,2,3, Xi Chen 3,*, Xianwei Wang 1,2,*, Xina Wang 4 and Lin Liu 3,5
1
School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
2
Guangdong Provincial Engineering Research Center for Public Security and Disaster, Guangzhou 510275, China
3
Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
4
Department of Ecological Engineering, Guangdong Eco-Engineering Polytechnic, Guangzhou 510520, China
5
School of Geographic Sciences, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2115; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102115
Received: 30 August 2019 / Revised: 1 October 2019 / Accepted: 9 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Water Management)
Extensive studies have highlighted the roles of rainfall, impervious surfaces, and drainage systems in urban pluvial flooding, whereas topographic control has received limited attention. This study proposes a depression-based index, the Topographic Control Index (TCI), to quantify the function of topography in urban pluvial flooding. The TCI of a depression is derived within its catchment, multiplying the catchment area with the slope, then dividing by the ponding volume of the depression. A case study is demonstrated in Guangzhou, China, using a 0.5 m-resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) acquired using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. The results show that the TCI map matches well with flooding records, while the Topographic Wetness Index (TWI) cannot map the frequently flooded areas. The impact of DEM resolution on topographic representation and the stability of TCI values are further investigated. The original 0.5 m-resolution DEM is set as a baseline, and is resampled at resolutions 1, 2, 5, and 10 m. A 1 m resolution has the smallest TCI deviation from those of 0.5 m resolution, and gives the optimal results in terms of striking a balance between computational efficiency and precision of representation. Moreover, the uncertainty in TCI values is likely to increase for small depressions. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban pluvial flooding; topographic control; depression; DEM resolution; Topographic Wetness Index; Guangzhou urban pluvial flooding; topographic control; depression; DEM resolution; Topographic Wetness Index; Guangzhou
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Huang, H.; Chen, X.; Wang, X.; Wang, X.; Liu, L. A Depression-Based Index to Represent Topographic Control in Urban Pluvial Flooding. Water 2019, 11, 2115.

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