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Article

The FLOod Probability Interpolation Tool (FLOPIT): A Simple Tool to Improve Spatial Flood Probability Quantification and Communication

1
Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
2
Jupiter Intelligence, San Mateo, CA 94401, USA
3
Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yurui Fan
Water 2021, 13(5), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050666
Received: 20 December 2020 / Revised: 24 February 2021 / Accepted: 24 February 2021 / Published: 1 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
Understanding flood probabilities is essential to making sound decisions about flood-risk management. Many people rely on flood probability maps to inform decisions about purchasing flood insurance, buying or selling real-estate, flood-proofing a house, or managing floodplain development. Current flood probability maps typically use flood zones (for example the 1 in 100 or 1 in 500-year flood zones) to communicate flooding probabilities. However, this choice of communication format can miss important details and lead to biased risk assessments. Here we develop, test, and demonstrate the FLOod Probability Interpolation Tool (FLOPIT). FLOPIT interpolates flood probabilities between water surface elevation to produce continuous flood-probability maps. FLOPIT uses water surface elevation inundation maps for at least two return periods and creates Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) as well as inundation maps for new return levels. Potential advantages of FLOPIT include being open-source, relatively easy to implement, capable of creating inundation maps from agencies other than FEMA, and applicable to locations where FEMA published flood inundation maps but not flood probability. Using publicly available data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood risk databases as well as state and national datasets, we produce continuous flood-probability maps at three example locations in the United States: Houston (TX), Muncy (PA), and Selinsgrove (PA). We find that the discrete flood zones generally communicate substantially lower flood probabilities than the continuous estimates. View Full-Text
Keywords: FLOod Probability Interpolation Tool; Federal Emergency and Management Agency; continuous flood hazard map; flood hazard communication; open-source flood hazard mapping tool; probabilistic flood map FLOod Probability Interpolation Tool; Federal Emergency and Management Agency; continuous flood hazard map; flood hazard communication; open-source flood hazard mapping tool; probabilistic flood map
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zarekarizi, M.; Roop-Eckart, K.J.; Sharma, S.; Keller, K. The FLOod Probability Interpolation Tool (FLOPIT): A Simple Tool to Improve Spatial Flood Probability Quantification and Communication. Water 2021, 13, 666. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050666

AMA Style

Zarekarizi M, Roop-Eckart KJ, Sharma S, Keller K. The FLOod Probability Interpolation Tool (FLOPIT): A Simple Tool to Improve Spatial Flood Probability Quantification and Communication. Water. 2021; 13(5):666. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050666

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zarekarizi, Mahkameh, K. J. Roop-Eckart, Sanjib Sharma, and Klaus Keller. 2021. "The FLOod Probability Interpolation Tool (FLOPIT): A Simple Tool to Improve Spatial Flood Probability Quantification and Communication" Water 13, no. 5: 666. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050666

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