Observing Floods From Space February 16, 2024 (2:00 pm, HST)

Observing Floods From Space February 16, 2024 (2:00 pm, HST)


Speaker: Dr. Dinuke Munasinghe


Floods are one of the leading natural disasters which devastate agricultural crops and property, contribute to disease outbreaks, cause the loss of human lives, and have huge impacts on national economies. Satellite remote sensing observations of floods have the potential to serve as an important complementary data source to more traditional data gathering methods ranging from drones to recording of mud marks. However, data availability hinges on satellites being at the right place at the right time. In the first part of the talk, the potential of merging datasets from multiple satellite platforms to increase the odds of collecting information during flood events will be explored. Scientific and societal benefits of such mergers will follow.

The focus on the second part of the talk will be on technology development that could aid in the early detection of floods. River width is central to the calculation of stream flows and could be used as a proxy for gaging water levels. The swift availability of river width data afforded through Satellite Remote Sens- ing plays a critical role in delivering actionable insights for anticipating floods. The current work on the “River Processor”, an automated algorithm that extracts river widths from state-of-the art surface water products derived from multi-source satellite imagery will be discussed in this section.




August 18, 2023 recording (click here)






May 6, 2022 Transcript (download here)

May 6, 2022 Recording (click here)