Pilot 5.2 | Satellite Earth Observation-derived water bodies & floodwater record over Europe

Pilot 5.2 | Satellite Earth Observation-derived water bodies & floodwater record over Europe

Hydrological extremes such as floods have enormous environmental, social and economic consequences and it is expected that climate change effects combined with a growing population in ill-planned flood-prone coastal and riverine areas will increase their impacts in the future. With more lives and assets at risk, governments are increasingly investing in flood reduction measures to improve or at least maintain the current safety level. Understanding historical trends in flooding greatly enhances the ability of flood managers to take action and to address the underlying risk. The HASARD mapping algorithm that was recently implemented on the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Grid Processing On Demand (GPOD) environment enables systematic, automatic and reliable spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar-based (SAR) mapping of terrestrial water bodies. The proposed pilot intends to upscale and operationalize the HASARD service so that a water bodies and floodwater record is generated at large scale and over a long period to support flooding-related disaster risk reduction In Europe. By contributing to a better understanding, monitoring and prediction of risks of extreme weather events and enabling a better resilience of our societies to such events, the pilot directly connects to the sustainable development goals 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).

/ Objectives
  • to co-design and provide the final water bodies and flood hazard products in close collaboration with selected members of the Global Flood Partnership (GFP).
  • to estimate flood hazard at a large-scale based on EO-derived flood maps and long-term hydrological modelling simulations
  • to use the unique data set generated by the ‘water bodies and floodwater record’ pilot to support many different applications and research activities of GFP in the fields of climate research, large scale flood forecasting, flood hazard and risk analyses, land use monitoring etc.
/ Partners


/ Key Users

Global Flood Partnership (chair: Joint research centre)

/ Key Datasets

(W) 20 m resolution Sentinel-1 and 150 m resolution ENVISAT image collections (2002 - 2018) over Europe, (W) 0.125 deg European scale daily hydraulic flood simulations from ECMWF, (W) hydrological discharge simulations from SMHI,

/ ID Card
Expected outcome of the pilot

The final 'default' product will be a database ("record") of flooding-related observations derived from >6 years of 20 m resolution Sentinel-1 observations made over Europe:

  • floodwater extent
  • exclusion mask (i.e. unclassified areas)
  • permanent water bodies
  • classification uncertainty

In addition, higher level products will be derived from the 'default' product based on specific user requirements (e.g. maximum flood extent map, aggregate monthly extent map, number of persons affected by floods, critical infrastructure impacted by floods, etc.). 

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