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Open AccessBrief Report

Contributions of Operational Satellites in Monitoring the Catastrophic Floodwaters Due to Hurricane Harvey

NOAA JPSS Program Office, Lanham, MD 20706, USA
Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
GOES-R Program Office at NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
NOAA/NESDIS Senior Scientific Adviser for GOES-R, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(8), 1256;
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Flood Mapping and Monitoring of Flood Dynamics)
Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category-4 storm in the United States on 25 August 2017 in Texas, causing catastrophic flooding in the Houston metropolitan area and resulting in a total economic loss estimated to be about $125 billion. To monitor flooding in the areas affected by Harvey, we used data from sensors aboard the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership Satellite (SNPP) and the new Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-16. The GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) observations are available every 5 min at 1-km spatial resolution across the entire United States, allowing for the possibility of frequent cloud free views of the flooded areas; while the higher resolution 375-m imagery available twice per day from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the SNPP satellite can observe more details of the flooded regions. Combining the high spatial resolution from VIIRS with the frequent observations from ABI offers an improved capability for flood monitoring. The flood maps derived from the SNPP VIIRS and GOES-16 ABI observations were provided to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continuously during Hurricane Harvey. According to FEMA’s estimate on 3 September 2017, approximately 155,000 properties might have been affected by the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey. View Full-Text
Keywords: VIIRS; ABI; Hurricane Harvey; flood mapping VIIRS; ABI; Hurricane Harvey; flood mapping
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Goldberg, M.D.; Li, S.; Goodman, S.; Lindsey, D.; Sjoberg, B.; Sun, D. Contributions of Operational Satellites in Monitoring the Catastrophic Floodwaters Due to Hurricane Harvey. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1256.

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