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The Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Estimate Direct Tangible Losses to Residential Properties from Flood Events: A Case Study of Cockermouth Following the Desmond Storm
Open AccessArticle

A Remote Sensing Based Integrated Approach to Quantify the Impact of Fluvial and Pluvial Flooding in an Urban Catchment

1
School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, College Road, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
2
Oasis Hub, 3rd Floor 40 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(5), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11050577
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 2 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Hydrological Extremes)
Pluvial (surface water) flooding is often the cause of significant flood damage in urban areas. However, pluvial flooding is often overlooked in catchments which are historically known for fluvial floods. In this study, we present a conceptual remote sensing based integrated approach to enhance current practice in the estimation of flood extent and damage and characterise the spatial distribution of pluvial and fluvial flooding. Cockermouth, a town which is highly prone to flooding, was selected as a study site. The flood event caused by named storm Desmond in 2015 (5-6/12/2015) was selected for this study. A high resolution digital elevation model (DEM) was produced from a composite digital surface model (DSM) and a digital terrain model (DTM) obtained from the Environment Agency. Using this DEM, a 2D flood model was developed in HEC-RAS (v5) 2D for the study site. Simulations were carried out with and without pluvial flooding. Calibrated models were then used to compare the fluvial and combined (pluvial and fluvial) flood damage areas for different land use types. The number of residential properties affected by both fluvial and combined flooding was compared using a combination of modelled results and data collected from Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). As far as the authors are aware, this is the first time that remote sensing data, hydrological modelling and flood damage data at a property level have been combined to differentiate between the extent of flooding and damage caused by fluvial and pluvial flooding in the same event. Results show that the contribution of pluvial flooding should not be ignored, even in a catchment where fluvial flooding is the major cause of the flood damages. Although the additional flood depths caused by the pluvial contribution were lower than the fluvial flood depths, the affected area is still significant. Pluvial flooding increased the overall number of affected properties by 25%. In addition, it increased the flood depths in a number of properties that were identified as being affected by fluvial flooding, in some cases by more than 50%. These findings show the importance of taking pluvial flooding into consideration in flood management practices. Further, most of the data used in this study was obtained via remote sensing methods, including UAS. This demonstrates the merit of developing a remote sensing based framework to enhance current practices in the estimation of both flood extent and damage. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluvial flooding; pluvial flooding; HEC-RAS; remote sensing; unmanned aircraft system; flood impact; urban catchment fluvial flooding; pluvial flooding; HEC-RAS; remote sensing; unmanned aircraft system; flood impact; urban catchment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Muthusamy, M.; Rivas Casado, M.; Salmoral, G.; Irvine, T.; Leinster, P. A Remote Sensing Based Integrated Approach to Quantify the Impact of Fluvial and Pluvial Flooding in an Urban Catchment. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 577.

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