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Detection of Seasonal Inundations by Satellite Data at Shkoder Urban Area, North Albania for Sustainable Management

1
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Firenze, Firenze 50121, Italy
2
Department of Geography, University of Shkodër “Luigj Gurakuqi”, Shkodër 4001, Albania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4454; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164454
Received: 19 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
The European Space Agency satellites Sentinel-1 radar and Sentinel-2 optical data are widely used in water surface mapping and management. In this work, we exploit the potentials of both radar and optical images for satellite-based quick detection and extent mapping of inundations/water raising events over Shkodër area, which occurred in the two last years (2017–2018). For instance, in March 2018 the Shkodër district (North Albania) was affected twice by the overflow of the Drin and Buna (Bojana) Rivers and by the Shkodër lake plain inundation. Sentinel-1 radar data allowed a rapid mapping of seasonal fluctuations and provided flood extent maps by discriminating water surfaces (permanent water and flood areas) from land/non-flood areas over all the informal zones of Shkodër city. By means of Sentinel-2 data, two color composites maps were produced and the Normalized Difference Water Index was estimated, in order to further distinguish water/moisturized soil surfaces from built-up and vegetated areas. The obtained remote sensing-based maps were combined and discussed with the urban planning framework in order to support a sustainable urban and environmental management. The provided multi-temporal analysis could be easily exploited by the local authorities for flood prevention and management purposes in the inherited territorial context. The proposed approach outputs were validated by comparing them with official Copernicus EMS (Emergency Management Service) maps available for one of the chosen events. The comparison shows good accordance results. As for a further enhancement in the future perspective, it is worth to highlight that a more accurate result could be obtained by performing a post-processing edit to further refine the flooded areas, such as water mask application and supervised classification to filter out isolated flood elements, to remove possible water-lookalikes and weed out false positives. View Full-Text
Keywords: Western Balkans; radar applications; inundation mapping; Sentinel-1; Sentinel-2; spatial planning Western Balkans; radar applications; inundation mapping; Sentinel-1; Sentinel-2; spatial planning
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Morelli, S.; Del Soldato, M.; Bianchini, S.; Pazzi, V.; Krymbi, E.; Shpori, E.; Casagli, N. Detection of Seasonal Inundations by Satellite Data at Shkoder Urban Area, North Albania for Sustainable Management. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4454.

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