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Upper Paraguay River inundation prediction using rainfall and NDVI

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Inter‐annual variation of monthly river water level (RWL) at Ladário Hydrological Station was investigated in order to study the Upper Paraguay River Basin flood conditions. The correlations of RWL to Precipitation (PCP) and to Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were analysed. A combined use of PCP and NDVI data is proposed to predict RWL at Ladário Hydrological Station, which monitors the water collected from the upper part of the Upper Paraguay River Basin watershed. Inundation area estimation as a function of RWL proposed by Hamilton et al. ( Archeological Hydrobiology , 137, 1–23, 1996) was applied to predict Pantanal inundation area using both recorded and predicted RWL data of 1981–2000. Our technique demonstrated that by applying the RWL prediction model and inundation area estimation model proposed by Hamilton et al. (1996), the Pantanal inundation area extension could be predicted 1 month in advance with reasonable success. Therefore, the statistical approach presented herewith may provide a useful tool for predicting RWL and hence for preventing flood damage in high RWL periods as well as controlling river transportation traffic in order to prevent riverbank erosion during low RWL periods. For future studies, an adequate hydrological simulation model based on a high accuracy digital elevation model and a rainfall forecasting system such as a radar system are needed to fulfil real‐time flood advancing prediction and mitigation tasks.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Professor and Student, Graduate Master Programme for Local Development, Universidade Católica Dom Bosco, Campo Grande, 79117‐900‐MS, Brazil

Publication date: 2005-10-20

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