Anthropogenic landscape changes cause significant disturbances to fluvial system dynamics and such is the case of the watersheds studied near the Spanish Mediterranean coast (Cartagena). Economic growth resulted in the addition of external water resources from the Tajo River (1979) as part of the National Water Plan (1933). Irrigation water has caused the water table to rise since 1979. Furthermore, water resources have boosted urban touristic expansion, industrial estates, and road infrastructures. This study presents a diagnosis of the official flood hazard maps by applying remote sensing techniques that enable the identification of (i) areas flooded during recent events; and (ii) the possible effects of anthropogenic actions on fluvial processes affecting flooding (land use and land cover change—LULCC). The flooded areas were identified from a multispectral satellite image taken by a sensor on Sentinel-2. A multi-temporal analysis of aerial photographs (1929, 1956, 1981, 2009, and 2017) showing the fluvial and anthropic environment at a detailed scale (1:25,000) was used to define the fluvial geomorphology and the main anthropic alterations on the Rebollos ephemeral stream. Official inputs from geographical information repositories about land use were also gathered (LULC). The result was compared to the official flood hazard maps (SNCZI) and this revealed floodable areas that had not been previously mapped because official maps rely only on the hydraulic method. Finally, all the recent changes that will have increased the disastrous consequences of flooding have been detected, analyzed, and mapped for the study area.
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