IMPROVING RELIABILITY IN GLOBAL FLOOD MAPPING BY GENERATING A SEASONAL REFERENCE WATER MASK USING SENTINEL-1/2 TIME-SERIES DATA
- German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), Münchener Straße 20, 82234 Weßling-Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
Keywords: Flood mapping, Seasonal reference water, Permanent reference water, Time series analysis, Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2
Abstract. Variable intra-annual climatic and hydrologic conditions result in many regions of the world in a strong seasonality of the water extent throughout the year. This behaviour, however, is usually not reflected in satellite-based flood emergency mapping. This may lead to non-reliable representations of the flood extent and to misleading information within disaster management activities. In order to be able to separate flooding from normally present seasonal water coverage, up-to-date, high-resolution information on the seasonal water cover is crucial. In this work, we present an automatic methodology to generate a global and consistent permanent and seasonal reference water product based on high resolution Earth Observation data, specifically designed for the use within flood rapid mapping activities. The water masks are primarily based on the time-series analysis of optical Sentinel-2 imagery, which are complemented by Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar-based information in data scarce regions. The methodology has been developed based on data of five globally distributed study areas (Australia, Germany, India, Mozambique, and Sudan). Within this work results for Australia and India are demonstrated and are systematically compared with external reference water products. Results show, that by using the proposed product it is possible to give a more reliable picture on flood-affected areas in the frame of disaster response.