The impact of data spatial resolution on flood vulnerability assessment

D. Morrison, L. Beevers, G. Wright, M. D. Stewart

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Index-based approaches are a popular method for assessing societal vulnerability to flooding, many of which differ in terms of indicator selection, underlying social data, spatial scale and aggregation methods. They are typically assessed at geographically broad spatial scales to provide a spatial picture of vulnerability for policy and decision-makers. However, aggregation of vulnerability at broad scales also potentially masks the true vulnerability of an area as the underlying data is not spatially refined. This research expands on a previous indicator approach, the Social Flood Vulnerability Index by using geodemographics to facilitate household and postcode level vulnerability assessment to explore the impact of spatial aggregation on vulnerability at national and local levels in Scotland. The results suggest that applying geodemographics to an existing approach increases spatial heterogeneity and has the potential to be adopted as a new dataset to guide indicator selection in future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironmental Hazards
Early online date15 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Apr 2021


  • Geodemographics
  • flood risk management
  • flooding
  • social vulnerability index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Environmental Science(all)


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