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Floodplain Mapping Using HEC-RAS and


ArcGIS: A Case Study of Kabul River
Article in ARABIAN JOURNAL FOR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING November 2015
DOI: 10.1007/s13369-015-1915-3

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6 authors, including:
Tariq Usman Saeed

Khurram Sheraz

Purdue University

University of Engineering and Technology,

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Anwaar Ahmed
National University of Sciences and Techno
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Available from: Tariq Usman Saeed


Retrieved on: 07 September 2016

Arab J Sci Eng (2016) 41:13751390


DOI 10.1007/s13369-015-1915-3

RESEARCH ARTICLE - CIVIL ENGINEERING

Floodplain Mapping Using HEC-RAS and ArcGIS: A Case Study


of Kabul River
Muhammad Shahzad Khattak1 Faizan Anwar1 Tariq Usman Saeed2
Mohammed Sharif3 Khurram Sheraz1 Anwaar Ahmed4

Received: 31 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 October 2015 / Published online: 6 November 2015
King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2015

Abstract This paper describes the application of HECRAS model to the development of floodplain maps for the
part of Kabul river that lies in Pakistan. The intent is to
assist policy makers and planners in the development of flood
mitigation measures for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province,
which experienced unprecedented floods in July/August
2010 exposing the vulnerability of the province to this natural
catastrophe. Owing to its reasonable accuracy and free availability, shuttle radar topography mission digital elevation
model was chosen for the extraction of geometrical data for
the river. Conventional flood frequency analysis, involving
log-normal, Gumbels, and log-Pearson type III (LP3) distributions, was used to calculate extreme flows with different
return periods. Using KolmogorovSmirnov (KS) test, LP3
was found to be the best distribution for the Kabul River. The
peak floods from frequency analysis were input into HECRAS model to find the corresponding flood levels expected
along river reaches extending through Warsak dam to Attock.
Results obtained with HEC-RAS model were used in combination with ArcGIS to prepare floodplain maps for different
return periods. Through floodplain maps, areas that are vulnerable to flooding hazards have been identified. Analysis

Tariq Usman Saeed


tariqusaeed@gmail.com
Muhammad Shahzad Khattak
shahzadkk2004@gmail.com

Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of


Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, Pakistan

Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University,


West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA

Department of Civil Engineering, Jazan University, Jazan,


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National


University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan

of floodplain maps indicated that more than 400 % area is


likely to be inundated as compared to the normal flow of the
river. Most of the area found to be vulnerable to flooding
is currently used for agriculture. Comparison of simulation
of 2010 flood with the image of the flood taken by MODIS
clearly shows a close agreement between the two.
Keywords
Kabul

Flood HEC-RAS Frequency Modeling

1 Introduction
Floods are caused by extreme hydrometeorological actions
while their evolution depends on geomorphologic agents,
such as permeability and soil stability, vegetation cover,
and the geometric characteristics of the river basins. Urban
expansion and consolidation, changing demographic features
within floodplains, changes in flood regime as a result of
climate change, and human intervention in the ecological
system are the major factors that lead to increased exposure
of communities to flood risk [1]. The occurrence of extreme
precipitation is a major impact of climate change; this leads
to increase in the magnitude and frequency of extreme events
such as droughts and floods [2]. Increase in the total amount,
frequency and intensity of precipitation will affect the timing
and magnitude of runoff, but its decrease will cause droughtlike situations [3]. It is expected that future climatic shifts
would cause a great variation in the water accessibility in
different regions. As a result, almost every facet of human
life including agricultural productivity, wildlife and fish management, energy use, industrial and municipal water supply,
and flood control would be affected [4]. As a consequence of
climate change, the vulnerability of communities to floods
has increased in most parts of the world, including Southeast

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