Spatio-temporal analysis of urban growth and its impact on floods in Ajman City, UAE Academic Article uri icon


  • The negative consequences of urbanisation have been recently recognised despite the social and economic benefits it provides to the community. Effects of urbanisation include increases in surface runoff, frequency and magnitude of floods and urban water harvesting capacity. Accordingly, this study utilised multi-spectral and multi-resolution satellite images combined with field data to conduct a quantitative assessment of the impact of urbanisation on urban flooding for the period of 1975-2015 in Ajman City, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Results showed that urban areas in the city have increased by approximately 12-fold over the period 1975-2015, whilst the population increased by approximately 16-fold. Owing to a substantial increase in urbanisation (as impervious areas expanded), minimum precipitation to generate runoff in built areas dropped from approximately 16.37 mm in 1975 to approximately 13.3 mm in 2015, which caused a substantial increase in the surface runoff. To visualise the flooding potential, urban flooding maps were generated using a well-established decision analysis technique called Analytical Hierarchy Process. The latter adopted three thematic factors, namely excess rain, elevation and slope. Flooding potential was then found to have increased substantially, specifically in the downtown area. Finally, this study is expected to contribute highly to flood protection and sustainable urban storm water management in Ajman City.

publication date

  • 2019