MOnitoring and predicting urban flood using Sar InTerferometric Observations


CALL: 2015

DOMAIN: SR - Water Resources under Change






KEYWORDS: SAR, InSAR coherence, hydrodynamic modelling, data assimilation, water management, hydrology, floods.

START: 2016-02-01

END: 2019-07-31


Submitted Abstract

Flood extent observations are used by emergency response services for targeting their limited resources on the most risk prone areas. According to the World Health Organization, a fast and reliable assessment of the situation helps anticipating critical needs such as: search and rescue, medical assistance, evacuating and managing population displacement, reducing the individual risk of being exposed to water-borne diseases in the short term and maintaining food security conditions over the long term (crops and livestock are likely to be lost). In order to fulfil this mission, Civil Protection administrations require various information such as current and forecasted water levels, streamflow and inundation duration, especially in urban areas. Moreover, insurance companies are facing the problem of a substantial increase of flood claims in recent years. In 2013 around 45% of the insured losses derived from inland flooding. One particular concern of the insurance industry is the mapping of so-called hot spot areas. These are clusters of industries relevant to global supply chains located within flood prone regions. Experience shows that the interruption of such international supply-chains due to flooding generally causes extreme economic losses. In order to improve their services, insurance companies thus require detailed global and national disaster impact databases in order to better identify areas that face losses in the event of a flood.Originating from these end user requirements and the opportunities offered by new satellite SAR missions in terms of short revisit time and also high spatial resolution, we propose the MOSQUITO (MOnitoring and predicting urban flood using Sar InTerferometric Observations) project for the purpose of developing new EO-based applications for advancing flood risk management, in particular: 1)Rapid mapping of urban floods using new SAR satellite data and, in particular, SAR interferometric coherence feature. The requested map products should provide a near real-time (NRT) overview of the population and infrastructure impacted by flood events at, potentially, a global scale.2)Assimilation of satellite-derived flood extent into globally operating hydraulic models. The model results will not only fill the gaps where EO, for technical reasons, does not provide information on the flooding status but they will also enable a more accurate and reliable short- to medium-range prediction of flooded areas and other related hydraulic variables, such as water elevation, river discharge, flood duration and flow velocity. If used as inputs to different types of impact models, these variables can be used to better assess economic, social and environmental consequences of floods.The MOSQUITO project is conceived for achieving these objectives through the development of an innovative methodology that enables to fully exploit the potential offered by the enhanced observational capabilities of new SAR satellite constellations, such as SENTINEL-1 (S-1) and COSMO-SkyMed (CSK).

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