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Title: High Resolution 3D Mapping of Hurricane Flooding from Moderate-Resolution Operational Satellites
Floods are often associated with hurricanes making landfall. When tropical cyclones/hurricanes make landfall, they are usually accompanied by heavy rainfall and storm surges that inundate coastal areas. The worst natural disaster in the United States, in terms of loss of life and property damage, was caused by hurricane storm surges and their associated coastal flooding. To monitor coastal flooding in the areas affected by hurricanes, we used data from sensors aboard the operational Polar-orbiting and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites. This study aims to apply a downscaling model to recent severe coastal flooding events caused by hurricanes. To demonstrate how high-resolution 3D flood mapping can be made from moderate-resolution operational satellite observations, the downscaling model was applied to the catastrophic coastal flooding in Florida due to Hurricane Ian and in New Orleans due to Hurricanes Ida and Laura. The floodwater fraction data derived from the SNPP/NOAA-20 VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) observations at the original 375 m resolution were input into the downscaling model to obtain 3D flooding information at 30 m resolution, including flooding extent, water surface level and water depth. Compared to a 2D flood extent map at the VIIRS’ original 375 m resolution, the downscaled 30 m floodwater depth maps, even when shown as 2D images, can provide more details about floodwater distribution, while 3D visualizations can demonstrate floodwater depth more clearly in relative to the terrain and provide a more direct perception of the inundation situations caused by hurricanes. The use of 3D visualization can help users clearly see floodwaters occurring over various types of terrain conditions, thus identifying a hazardous flood from non-hazardous flood types. Furthermore, 3D maps displaying floodwater depth may provide additional information for rescue efforts and damage assessments. The downscaling model can help enhance the capabilities of moderate-to-coarse resolution sensors, such as those used in operational weather satellites, flood detection and monitoring.  more » « less
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Remote Sensing
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Medium: X
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National Science Foundation
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