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Assisting Flood Disaster Response with Earth Observation Data and Products: A Critical Assessment

Remote Sensing Solutions, Inc., Monrovia, CA 91016, USA
School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, BS81SS Bristol, UK
INSTAAR, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
Self, Pelham, NH 03076, USA
NOAA National Weather Service, Anchorage, AK 91016, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(8), 1230;
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
PDF [7268 KB, uploaded 6 August 2018]


Floods are among the top-ranking natural disasters in terms of annual cost in insured and uninsured losses. Since high-impact events often cover spatial scales that are beyond traditional regional monitoring operations, remote sensing, in particular from satellites, presents an attractive approach. Since the 1970s, there have been many studies in the scientific literature about mapping and monitoring of floods using data from various sensors onboard different satellites. The field has now matured and hence there is a general consensus among space agencies, numerous organizations, scientists, and end-users to strengthen the support that satellite missions can offer, particularly in assisting flood disaster response activities. This has stimulated more research in this area, and significant progress has been achieved in recent years in fostering our understanding of the ways in which remote sensing can support flood monitoring and assist emergency response activities. This paper reviews the products and services that currently exist to deliver actionable information about an ongoing flood disaster to emergency response operations. It also critically discusses requirements, challenges and perspectives for improving operational assistance during flood disaster using satellite remote sensing products. View Full-Text
Keywords: flood disaster; response assistance; remote sensing; interoperability flood disaster; response assistance; remote sensing; interoperability

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Schumann, G.J.-P.; Brakenridge, G.R.; Kettner, A.J.; Kashif, R.; Niebuhr, E. Assisting Flood Disaster Response with Earth Observation Data and Products: A Critical Assessment. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1230.

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