Where does flooding occur? What is the magnitude of the flood? How frequently does flooding occur? Governmental agencies, fire fighters, insurers, etc. try to answer these questions based on water level measurements, drone flights, field visits, news reports, social media,…. However, a good spatial coverage is hard to reach. By combining Sentinel-1 satellite data with data on land cover, elevation and flood risk, TerraFlood provides spatially consistent flood observations independent of weather conditions.
In Flanders, the river system is closely monitored and regulated. Nevertheless, flooding regularly happens due to the accumulation of rainy days in autumn-winter and intense showers in summer. It is often extremely difficult to map these floods, as clouds are mostly present. Luckily, the Sentinel-1 SAR satellites provide images in both sunny and cloudy conditions. TerraFlood combines the Sentinel-1 images, captured during a flood event, with data on land cover, elevation and flood risk to provide spatially consistent flood maps.
TerraFlood, an initiative by VMM, University of Ghent and VITO, is a Virtual Machine application that can be requested free of charge through the Terrascope platform and provides insights into flood occurrence and dynamics for everyone confronted with flooding issues.
Flood maps indicate the occurrence of different types of flooding. This example shows the Sentinel-1 image and the flood state in Boortmeerbeek on February 29th, 2020.
Flood count maps reveal spatial differences in flood frequency. This example shows the number of flood hits in 2015-2020 in Oostkamp.
Flooded area graphs show how flood events evolve through time. This example shows the detected flooded area in February-March 2020 in Herk-de-Stad.
"The TerraFlood maps are interesting to use together with other information sources. This allows us to monitor flooding and flood occurrence more accurately."
Thanks to the Sentinel-1 satellites, TerraFlood can provide information in both sunny and cloudy conditions.
A Terrascope virtual machine is assigned to users, through which they can create and access flood maps.
Ancillary data provided by VMM and Information Flanders are used to refine the flood maps.
This case is published in cooperation with Lisa Landuyt - Ghent University,
one of the partners of the TerraFlood consortium.