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Summary of Proposal MTH0767

TitleINVENSTIGATING NEW METHODS FOR RAPID URBAN FLOOD ASSESSMENT USING TERRASAR-X DATA
Investigator Adams, Beverley - ImageCat Ltd, Research and Development
Team Member
Dr. Bevington, John - ImageCat Ltd, Research and Development
Mr. Huyck, Charles - ImageCat Inc., Research and Development
SummaryThis research will specifically investigate urban flooding signatures within TerraSAR-X imagery. Prior research activities studying the use of TerraSAR-X for flood assessment (see for example, Herra-Cruz and Koudogbo, 2009) have focused on the delineation of inundated areas within semi-rural and rural landscapes. This project builds on research conducted by ImageCatís research and development team, which successfully used Radarsat and ERS imagery to specifically detectand characterise urbanised flooding after events including hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Dresden floods (McMillan et al., 2008). Using a time sequence of flooded and non-flooded images, the project will investigate the workinghypothesis within highly urbanisedenvironments, a fundamentally different flood reflectance pattern is observed,characterised by an increase rather than a decrease in backscatter. Based on two case study events: (a) a developed nation exhibiting high density building stock, and (b) a developing nation with lower density structures (tobe determined based on archive imagery availability), qualitative andquantitative image analysis and processing techniques will be explored, and methods developed for flood extent mapping and flood boundary delineation. Validation will be conducted with independent sources of flood extent andboundary information, using contingency-based methods and vector intersectionanalysis. Funded by an internal research grant from ImageCat, together with Erasmus funding from the University of Pavia, this 6 month project will produce validated methods for urban flood detection and flood boundary delineation. The methodologies developed have the potential to provide critical rapid post-disaster flood mapping in high-risk urban landscapes for governments and a wide range of industries, including the humanitarian sector.

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