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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(4), 313; doi:10.3390/rs9040313

Flood Monitoring Using Satellite-Based RGB Composite Imagery and Refractive Index Retrieval in Visible and Near-Infrared Bands

Department of Environment, Energy and Geoinfomatics, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Korea
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Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
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Abstract

Satellite remote sensing provides significant information for the monitoring of natural disasters. Recently, on a global scale, floods have been increasing both in frequency and in magnitude. In order to map the inundation area, flooding events are investigated using unique RGB composite imagery based on the MODIS surface reflectance (MOD09GA) data obtained from the Terra satellite, which is used to visualize and analyze these events. This study proposes using an RGB combination of MODIS band 6 (1.64 μm), band 5 (1.24 μm), and band 2 (0.86 μm) data from the visible and the near-infrared spectral ranges to map flood events. The flooding events that were investigated in this study occurred on 25 October 2015 along the Pampanga River in the Philippines, and on 28 July 2016 along the Poyang and Dongting Lakes in China. In the case of the Pampanga River, the inundated areas were estimated with surface reflectance (R) thresholds of 0.0 ≤ R6 ≤ 0.102, 0.0 ≤ R5 ≤ 0.138, and 0.03 ≤ R2 ≤ 0.148 for MODIS bands 6, 5, and 2, respectively, which were determined using Otsu’s method. The total inundated area was estimated to be 487.75 km2. This estimate was indirectly compared with the results obtained from SENTINEL-1A Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. The total inundated area on 26 October 2015 for the case of the Pampanga River was estimated to be 486.37 km2 using histogram analysis based on Otsu’s method. For the flooding case in China, the total estimated inundated area using MODIS RGB imagery on 28 July 2016 and SAR on 3 August 2016 was 1148.25 km2 and 1110.096 km2, respectively. In addition, RGB imagery results using MODIS 6-5-2 bands were supported by the refractive index retrieval along the inundation area. A threshold of 1.6 for the real part of the complex refractive index allows for the discrimination between the flooded and non-flooded areas using the Hong and ASH approximations. This study shows that the RGB composite techniques using advanced sensors with more bands and higher spatio-temporal resolutions, and supported by the refractive index retrieval method, are useful for estimating flood events. View Full-Text
Keywords: flood; RGB composite image; refractive index; MODIS; satellite remote sensing flood; RGB composite image; refractive index; MODIS; satellite remote sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ban, H.-J.; Kwon, Y.-J.; Shin, H.; Ryu, H.-S.; Hong, S. Flood Monitoring Using Satellite-Based RGB Composite Imagery and Refractive Index Retrieval in Visible and Near-Infrared Bands. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 313.

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