Flood vulnerability analysis using different aggregation frameworks across watersheds of Ardabil province, northwestern Iran

Elham Azizi, Mohammad Reza Nikoo, Raoof Mostafazadeh, Zeinab Hazbavi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Flood-vulnerable-area selection could be interpreted as an intricate multiple-criteria decision-making (MCDM) problem. Lacking systematic flood vulnerability maps in Iran usually leaves the National Disaster Management Organization and provincial authorities to rely on limited knowledge to inform their emergency actions. Therefore, the present study was conducted as pioneer research in flood problematization for solving disaster issues that have not been adequately considered in the country. To obtain a more trustworthy and safer decision, a complex set of multivariate flood vulnerability assessments was done for 26 watersheds of Ardabil province using the novel-ensemble MCDM frameworks. Towards this, the complex proportional assessment of alternatives (COPRAS) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) approach was integrated with widely used weighting methods of Shannon's entropy (Entropy) and analytical hierarchy process (AHP). Finally, four different aggregation frameworks of COPRAS-Entropy, COPRAS-AHP, DFID-Entropy, and DFID-AHP were developed and compared based on 19 criteria and three factors (exposure, sensitivity, and resilience). The flood vulnerability was obtained as 0.70 ± 0.13, 0.66 ± 0.18, 0.17 ± 0.10, and 0.20 ± 0.15, respectively, based on COPRAS-Entropy, COPRAS-AHP, DFID-Entropy, and DFID-AHP. As can be seen, higher values were estimated according to COPRAS-based frameworks rather than DFID-based frameworks, except for resilience. The top-ranked watersheds in terms of exposure (i.e., Mashiran) and sensitivity (i.e., Samian) produced by aggregation frameworks match entirely. However, the top-ranked watersheds based on resilience and flood vulnerability slightly mismatch among the used aggregation's frameworks. These findings help the responsible authorities for natural disaster risk reduction to promote sustainable development processes and equitable access to financial resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103680
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2023


  • Environmental impact
  • Flood zoning
  • Index-oriented evaluation
  • Resilience
  • Weighting and ranking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology

Cite this