News & Events

Noon seminar - Predicting and managing the effects of extreme floods using orbital remote sensing

Monday, January 18, 2010, 12:00PM - 1:00PM


G. Robert Brakenridge

CSDMS Visiting Scientist and Dartmouth Flood Observatory, Dartmouth College


RL-3 620

Present and planned Earth-observing orbital sensors provide observations useful for directly measuring the surface water component of the Earth's hydrologic cycle, including flooding. This capability can be more fully utilized for scientific as well as societal needs. Our work is structured in order that, as research is conducted, some practical applications are immediately realized. The seminar will describe how existing sensor data streams can be transformed into river discharge measurements, how calibrated time series of global watershed runoff, mid-2002 to present, can thereby be produced, how the two MODIS sensors and the upcoming VIIRS sensor can also be used in satellite-based surface water surveillance and recording systems, to survey flood inundation extent, and, finally, how as we develop this technology, digital map and GIS data sets of flood inundation are being made immediately available to government ministries, relief agencies, and the general public. If such inundation extent information is then accessible via an organized archive, these data, concerning past flood events, can be integrated with the at-a-site discharge measurements in order to translate mapped flood extents into future flood hazard prediction.