Monitoring Flood Extent and Forecasting Excess Runoff Risk with RADARSAT-1 Data

Authors: Bonn, Ferdinand1; Dixon, Roy2

Source: Natural Hazards, Volume 35, Number 3, July 2005 , pp. 377-393(17)

Publisher: Springer

Buy & download fulltext article:


Price: $47.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Earth observation from active microwave satellites such as RADARSAT-1 is an excellent tool to monitor and forecast floods. Two complementary approaches are described in this paper: (a) real time or near-real time monitoring of flood extent and (b) mapping of hydrological properties of drainage basins. Since it can penetrate through clouds, which usually occur during precipitation periods, and due to the fact that it can be programmed with different incidence angles, RADARSAT-1 enables frequent coverage over specific areas of interest. It has been used successfully to monitor a major flood of the Red River in Manitoba in 1997, by providing frequent coverage of the flood during its progression and decrease. Resulting data and images have been useful in planning the emergency measures and in assessing flood damage. RADARSAT has also the ability to characterize hydrological properties of watersheds. It has been used in agricultural catchments in Europe for mapping soil surface roughness, which affects runoff coefficients, concentration time and resistance to erosion processes. Used to complement optical data, RADARSAT has provided information on the status of land use and soil protective cover in drainage basins. This information can then be translated into parameters and coefficients that hydrological models can use for runoff and flood forecasting

Keywords: Manitoba; Normandy; RADARSAT; emergency measures; land use; real time flood monitoring; runoff and flood forecasting; soil surface roughness; watershed management

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre d’applications et de recherches en télédétection (CARTEL), Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada, J1K 2R1, Email: 2: Manitoba Remote Sensing Centre, Manitoba Conservation, 1007 Century Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3H 0W4,

Publication date: July 1, 2005

Related content


Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page