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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering >> 2013, Volume 7, Issue 5 doi: 10.1007/s11783-013-0542-z

Land use/cover change effects on floods with different return periods: a case study of Beijing, China

1. Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; 2. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

Available online: 2013-10-01

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In this study, an approach integrating digital land use/cover change (LUCC) analysis, hydraulic modeling and statistical methods was applied to quantify the effect of LUCC on floods in terms of inundation extent, flood arrival time and maximum water depth. The study took Beijing as an example and analyzed five specific floods with return periods of 20-year, 50-year, 100-year, 1000-year and 10000-year on the basis of LUCC over a nine-year period from 1996 to 2004. The analysis reveals that 1) during the period of analysis Beijing experienced unprecedented LUCC; 2) LUCC can affect inundation extent and flood arrival time, and floods with longer return periods are more influenced; 3) LUCC can affect maximum water depth and floods with shorter return periods are more influenced; and 4) LUCC is a major flood security stressor for Beijing. It warns that those cities having experienced rapid expansion during recent decades in China are in danger of more serious floods and recommends that their actual land use patterns should be carefully assessed considering flood security. This integrated approach is demonstrated to be a useful tool for joint assessment, planning and management of land and water.

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