Assessing spatial likelihood of flooding hazard using naïve Bayes and GIS: a case study in Bowen Basin, Australia

Rui Liu*, Yun Chen, Jianping Wu, Lei Gao, Damian Barrett, Tingbao Xu, Linyi Li, Chang Huang, Jia Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    71 Citations (Scopus)


    Flooding hazard evaluation is the basis of flooding risk assessment which has significances to natural environment, human life and social economy. This study develops a spatial framework integrating naïve Bayes (NB) and geographic information system (GIS) to assess flooding hazard at regional scale. The methodology was demonstrated in the Bowen Basin in Australia as a case study. The inputs into the framework are five indices: elevation, slope, soil water retention, drainage proximity and density. They were derived from spatial data processed in ArcGIS. NB as a simplified and efficient type of Bayesian methods was used, with the assistance of remotely sensed flood inundation extent in the sampling process, to infer flooding probability on a cell-by-cell basis over the study area. A likelihood-based flooding hazard map was output from the GIS-based framework. The results reveal elevation and slope have more significant impacts on evaluation than other input indices. Area of high likelihood of flooding hazard is mainly located in the west and the southwest where there is a high water channel density, and along the water channels in the east of the study area. High likelihood of flooding hazard covers 45 % of the total area, medium likelihood accounts for about 12 %, low and very low likelihood represents 19 and 24 %, respectively. The results provide baseline information to identify and assess flooding hazard when making adaptation strategies and implementing mitigation measures in future. The framework and methodology developed in the study offer an integrated approach in evaluation of flooding hazard with spatial distributions and indicative uncertainties. It can also be applied to other hazard assessments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1575-1590
    Number of pages16
    JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


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