Identifying flood risk areas in New Brunswick using GIS

Sheika Henry, Anne-Marie Laroche and Jasmin Boisvert


Floods are the costliest natural hazards in New Brunswick, and result in infrastructural damages, loss of lives and economic losses. The mapping of flood prone areas is one way of reducing the impacts. However, current flood maps are outdated and unavailable for many regions. This study proposes a methodology to identify flood risk areas at the provincial level with the use of Spatial Multi-Criteria Evaluation (SMCE) technique. The physiographic characteristics of the terrain, as well as hydrologic, social and economic vulnerability factors are incorporated. Within this regard, weights are applied to each factor in order to generate a map assessing the risks of flooding across the province. The final map is reclassified to illustrate high, medium and low risk areas. Results from this study could be useful for planning purpose to aid in the decision-making process among stakeholders. It can also be used as an effective method for mapping flood prone areas at the provincial level, which can be applied to other locations.

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