Flood has long been known as one of the most catastrophic natural hazards worldwide. Mapping flood-prone areas is an important part of flood disaster management. In this study, a flood susceptibility mapping framework was developed based on a novel integration of nature-inspired algorithms into support vector regression (SVR). To this end, various remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) datasets were applied to the hybridized SVR models to map flood susceptibility in Ahwaz township, Iran. The proposed framework has two main steps: 1) updating the flood inventory (historical flooded locations) using the proposed RS-based flood detection method developed within the google earth engine (GEE) platform. The mosaicked images of multi-temporal Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data have been used in this step; 2) producing flood susceptibility map using the standalone SVR and hybridized model of SVR. The hybridized methods were derived from a novel integration of SVR with meta-heuristic algorithms, hence forming the SVR-bat algorithm (SVR-BA), SVR-invasive weed optimization (SVR-IWO), and SVR-firefly algorithm (SVR-FA). A spatial database of flood locations and 11 conditioning factors (altitude, slope angle, aspect, topographic wetness index, stream power index, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), distance to stream, curvature, rainfall, soil type, and land use/cover) were built for the susceptibility modelling. The accuracy of the proposed model was evaluated using the statistical and sensitivity indices, such as root mean square error (RMSE), receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and area under the ROC curve (AUROC) index. The results indicated that all hybridized models outperformed the standalone SVR. According to AUROC values, the predictive power of the SVR-FA was the highest with the value of 0.81, followed by SVR-IWO, SVR-BA, and SVR with values of 0.80, 0.79, and 0.77, respectively.
- Flood susceptibility mapping
- Nature-inspired algorithms
- Remote sensing
- SAR imagery
- Support vector regression (SVR)