Title: Evaluation of real-time global flood modeling with satellite surface inundation observations from SMAP
Citation: REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT vol. 233 p. 111360
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC115580
ISSN: 0034-4257 (online)
URI: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425719303797?via%3Dihub
DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2019.111360
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Improving flood modeling accuracy is crucial for real-time flood monitoring and early warning systems. Knowing the sources, patterns and driving factors of model uncertainty aids the development of more accurate flood predictions. This study investigates the consistency of two global flood inundation products, i.e., the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite based fractional water (Fw) cover and the Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS) modeled flood inundation. Using Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) as the indicator of the SMAP-GFMS model consistency, this research documents the spatial and temporal patterns of the correlations between the two flood products, and investigates factors affecting these relationships, including climate, land cover, hydrology and terrain 25 distributions. Results reveal that globally, 64% locations have moderate to strong SMAP-GFMS correlation (r≥0.4). Locations that are dry and have low biomass and high seasonal flood variability tend to have high correlation; for example, 47% locations with r≥0.4 occur in tropical and arid climate zones, and 43% locations with r≥0.4 are observed in Barren, Evergreen Broadleaf Forest, Grasslands, Open Shrubland and Savannahs. Also, larger rivers have higher correlation, and in each Strahler stream order there are 60% to 65% locations having r≥0.4. Larger watersheds show higher SMAP-GFMS consistency, in particular watersheds between 1,000 and 40,000 km2 present a strong inverse power function between r and watershed size (R2 =0.998). Regions with greater urban infrastructure tend to have lower correlation, while locations with lower elevations and relatively flat topography have higher SMAP-GFMS consistency. This study indicates that GFMS and SMAP provide complimentary information on surface water storage variations influencing precipitation driven runoff and flooding, which may enable enhanced global flood predictions.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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