Identification of sensitivity indicators of urban rainstorm flood disasters: A case study in China

Meimei Wu, Zening Wu, Wei Ge*, Huiliang Wang, Yanxia Shen, Mengmeng Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Urban rainstorm floods have become one of the most significant natural disasters that restrict the healthy development of the economy and society. It is imperative to reduce the risk of urban rainstorm flood disasters, which is growing along with urbanization, during the process of urban planning and construction. However, because of the complexity of urban elements, it is quite difficult to identify sensitive indicators of urban rainstorm flood disasters to provide effective guidance on flood control. In this study, the composition of urban elements was systematically proposed based on Descriptive Framework for Cities and Communities, including natural, structural, and social elements, and then a specific indicator system was established. Furthermore, Random Forest Model was used to determine the relative importance of the indicators that are closely related to the direct economic loss that reflects the severity of urban rainstorm flood disasters. Considering four cities in China, Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing, and Shanghai, with different topographical and hydrological conditions, as examples, the sensitivity indicators of urban rainstorm flood disasters were identified, and the results were verified based on the catastrophe evaluation method. The results indicate that urban rainstorm flood disasters are the most sensitive to surface water resources, and are the least sensitive to relief degree of land surface. Finally, specific measures to mitigate urban rainstorm flood disasters were proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126393
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Economic loss
  • Random Forest
  • Relative importance
  • Urban element
  • Urban flood


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