Real time estimation of the calgary floods using limited remote sensing data

Emily Schnebele, Guido Cervone, Shamanth Kumar, Nigel Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Every year, flood disasters are responsible for widespread destruction and loss of human life. Remote sensing data are capable of providing valuable, synoptic coverage of flood events but are not always available because of satellite revisit limitations, obstructions from cloud cover or vegetation canopy, or expense. In addition, knowledge of road accessibility is imperative during all phases of a flood event. In June 2013, the City of Calgary experienced sudden and extensive flooding but lacked comprehensive remote sensing coverage. Using this event as a case study, this work illustrates how data from non-authoritative sources are used to augment traditional data and methods to estimate flood extent and identify affected roads during a flood disaster. The application of these data, which may have varying resolutions and uncertainities, provide an estimation of flood extent when traditional data and methods are lacking or incomplete. When flooding occurs over multiple days, it is possible to construct an estimate of the advancement and recession of the flood event. Non-authoritative sources also provide flood information at the micro-level, which can be difficult to capture from remote sensing data; however, the distibution and quantity of data collected from these sources will affect the quality of the flood estimations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-398
Number of pages18
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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