Assessing the Suitability of the Flood Defense Policy of Republic of Korea for Risk Reduction in Local Rivers

Kichul Jung, Heejin An, Sewon Hwang, Seung Beom Seo, Hyemin Park, Chan Park, Jonghyun Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines whether the fluvial flood defense system of Korea is appropriate for risk reduction. Using spatial socioeconomic data and remote sensing, we estimated the potential economic damage that can be caused by the flooding of local streams and rivers along the Nakdong River (the longest river in Korea). For the analysis, a river risk map including return periods (50, 80, 100, and 200 years) and spatial inventories (residential, agricultural, industrial assets, and human lives) was employed to determine flood-prone areas and assess the damage within the inundation areas. A quantitative flood analysis was conducted using an object-based method to estimate the expected annual damage. We then compared the estimated damage for each tributary within the designed return periods and found no correlation. Numerous tributaries with low-defense targets were considered high-risk, while those with high-defense targets were assessed as low-risk. The dataset used in this study covered four damage categories. Among them, flood damage to residential assets appeared to have the highest value, whereas flood damage to industrial assets had the lowest value. The results demonstrate that the Korean government needs to tailor its flood defense policy based on quantitative risk assessments to effectively manage flood risks, especially given the increasing risk of climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3908
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • differentiated flood defense level
  • expected annual damage
  • flood defense plans considering climate change
  • improvement of flood defense criteria
  • quantitative flood risk analysis


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