Flood hazard assessment for land-use planning near desert mountains

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Metropolitan areas located in arid and semiarid environments are rapidly expanding onto the piedmonts of nearby desert mountains. Hazards to urban development are posed by the complex fluvial systems that characterize these environments, yet no generally accepted methodology exists for evaluating flood hazards on desert piedmonts. An approach to flood hazard assessment is presented that involves the hydrogeomorphic analysis of land surfaces. Five flood hazard zones are identified for an area in central Arizona by analyzing the spatial variation of landforms and their associated fluvial processes. The methodology is applicable to similar environments elsewhere because it is based on the identification of forms and processes common to arid regions. The information provided by the analysis can form the basis for a comprehensive flood hazard management plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Desert piedmonts
  • Flood hazards
  • Urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution


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