Flood hazard vulnerability for settlements of Turkey’s province of Edirne, using ASTER DEM data and Landsat-7 ETM+ image data
While Turkey’s province of Edirne represents one of the country’s most significant cultural heritage areas because it lies in the basins of the Meric and Ergene rivers, this very valuable region is highly susceptible to flooding during heavy rain falls. It becomes particularly vulnerable when neighboring Bulgaria responds to its own threats of heavy rain or snowfall by opening its floodgates of its dams on the River Meric, which flows through the Edirne province. Therefore, for years, the Edirne province has experienced severe floods that are eroding its fertile alluvial agricultural floodplains. An environmental plan based on a determination of the vulnerability levels of the province’s flood hazard risk areas is required if action is taken to alleviate this problem. The objective of this study is to acquire geo-information from the remotely sensed data and to interpret the flood hazard risk levels of the area’s settlements and agricultural floodplains. In this study, the spatial distribution of the flood hazard risk areas in the Edirne province is determined using not only the Advanced Space-Borne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer digital elevation model data of the Edirne province to create maps that illustrate the digital terrain model and the 3D fly-through dynamic model of the study region but also the Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus multi-spectral image data set to create land use and land cover types of the study region. The maps exhibit landform characteristics, floodplain topography, and stream drainages. Analysis and interpretation of the maps demonstrate that the areas most susceptible to flooding are Enez, which lies at the northern coastal area of the Aegean Sea and agricultural areas, and the settlements on the Meric River floodplains of Ipsala, Meric, Edirne, and Uzunkopru, listed in decreasing order, respectively.