Flash Flood Risk Analysis Based on Machine Learning Techniques in the Yunnan Province, China

Meihong Ma, Changjun Liu*, Gang Zhao, Hongjie Xie, Pengfei Jia, Dacheng Wang, Huixiao Wang, Yang Hong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
319 Downloads (Pure)


Flash flood, one of the most devastating weather-related hazards in the world, has become more and more frequent in past decades. For the purpose of flood mitigation, it is necessary to understand the distribution of flash flood risk. In this study, artificial intelligence (Least squares support vector machine: LSSVM) and classical canonical method (Logistic regression: LR) are used to assess the flash flood risk in the Yunnan Province based on historical flash flood records and 13 meteorological, topographical, hydrological and anthropological factors. Results indicate that: (1) the LSSVM with Radial basis function (RBF) Kernel works the best (Accuracy = 0.79) and the LR is the worst (Accuracy = 0.75) in testing; (2) flash flood risk distribution identified by the LSSVM in Yunnan province is near normal distribution; (3) the high-risk areas are mainly concentrated in the central and southeastern regions, where with a large curve number; and (4) the impact factors contributing the flash flood risk map from higher to low are: Curve number > Digital elevation > Slope > River density > Flash Flood preventions > TopographicWetness Index > annual maximum 24 h precipitation > annual maximum 3 h precipitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170
Number of pages16
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number2
Early online date17 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • China
  • Flash flood
  • Risk


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