• Near Real Time Flood Inundation Prediction and Mapping For the World Food Programme
Program Disasters Program
PI / Institution Robert Brakenridge / University of Colorado
Start Date December 1, 2012
End Date November 30, 2013
  • Summary

    NASA Applications Program support to a group led by one of us (Policelli), has resulted in initial production and ongoing publication of an automated, near real time (NRT), MODIS sensor-based, flood map product. This includes both daily raster maps (at 10 degree latitude and longitude increments and 250 m pixel dimensions), and GIS data (daily water polygons, in .shp format). Coverage is over large areas of the world as of October, 2011, with support in place to expand the automated processor to near-global coverage by the end of 2012. Meanwhile, a variety of other planned NASA sensors (especially SMAP, Landsat Continuity, and GPM), as well as several non-NASA satellites with accessible data access (VIIRS, Envisat, Oceansat-2, Windsat, GCOM-W) are or will be providing data that could be integrated into a flexible, NRT flood mapping processor, or could provide valuable flood alert and predictive modeling capabilities. The World Food Programme, WFP is the worlds largest disaster response organization, and the US Government is its largest donor ($1.2 billion USD, 2011, out of the total budget of $3.1 billion). To help guide flood damage assessment, food assistance, transportation access and other logistics, WFP requires sustained and frequent flooded area updates over the course of weeks- to months-long flood disasters; its work could also benefit from better prediction of such events. To address these needs, the present optical data-driven global flood mapping will join with a complementary, radar frequency, Envisat ASAR-based global flood mapping processor at the Deltares Institute, Delft, Netherlands. This will produce a much-enhanced, publically available, and state-of-the-art information product which can be customized for use by WFP. We propose a one year feasibility project: a) to better define in partnership with WFP personnel the pathway to be taken to full and sustainable implementation of this merged processor,and b) to implement on a trial basis coupled flood discharge and inundation forecasting for a nation of continuing WFP involvement (Bangladesh).