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Flood mapping and soil moisture retrieval for improved water management (FLOODMOIST)

Research project SR/02/152 (Research action SR)


Persons :


Description :

Flood prediction systems are of key importance for properly managing the event and organizing rescue operations. Unfortunately, the models which are used make errors with respect to timing, flood extent or stage height. In this spin-off project we will investigate how radar remote sensing observations of soil moisture and flood extent can be jointly assimilated into flood prediction systems.

The overall goals of this spin-off project are 1) to explore new strategies to extract hydrology-related information from microwave remote sensing (i.e. soil moisture and flood extent) and 2) to demonstrate the merit of jointly assimilating soil moisture and flood extent information into coupled hydrologic-hydraulic models.

Method

With respect to soil moisture retrieval, the method of effective roughness parameters for circumventing in situ roughness data will be further assessed on SAR data and its potential for soil moisture retrieval in radiometry will be investigated. For flood mapping, including uncertainty in the mapping methodology by means of possibility theory will be investigated and the impact of uncertain maps for hydraulic modelling will be assessed. Further, data obtained from different flood map retrieval algorithms will be merged, accounting for the uncertainties in each of the maps that will be merged. Finally, it will be investigated how to assimilate both soil moisture products and flood maps in a coupled hydrologic-hydraulic model. The main challenges will be to deal with differences in spatial resolution (model versus observation) and non-Gaussian uncertainties.

Expected results

- A soil moisture retrieval algorithm based on effective roughness parameters for radiometer data
- A flood mapping algorithm that includes an uncertainty estimation on the obtained map
- A merging methodology that allows for combining flood maps obtained from different mapping algorithms
- Improved data assimilation schemes that allow for assimilating the soil moisture and flood maps derived in the project


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