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An assessment of the ‘Height Above Nearest Drainage’ terrain descriptor for the thematic enhancement of automatic SAR-based flood monitoring services

Chow, Candace and Twele, André and Martinis, Sandro (2016) An assessment of the ‘Height Above Nearest Drainage’ terrain descriptor for the thematic enhancement of automatic SAR-based flood monitoring services. In: Proceedings of SPIE, 9998, pp. 1-11. SPIE Remote Sensing 2016, 26.-29. Sept. 2016, Edinburgh, Großbritannien. doi: 10.1117/12.2240766.

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Official URL: http://spiedigitallibrary.org/collection.aspx?categoryid=6243


Flood extent maps derived from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data can communicate spatially-explicit information in a timely and cost-effective manner to support disaster management. Automated processing chains for SAR-based flood mapping have the potential to substantially reduce the critical time delay between the delivery of post-event satellite data and the subsequent provision of satellite derived crisis information to emergency management authorities. However, the accuracy of SAR-based flood mapping can vary drastically due to the prevalent land cover and topography of a given scene. While expert-based image interpretation with the consideration of contextual information can effectively isolate flood surface features, a fully-automated feature differentiation algorithm mainly based on the grey levels of a given pixel is comparatively more limited for features with similar SAR-backscattering characteristics. The inclusion of ancillary data in the automatic classification procedure can effectively reduce instances of misclassification. In this work, a near-global ‘Height Above Nearest Drainage’ (HAND) index was calculated with digital elevation data and drainage directions from the HydroSHEDS mapping project. The index can be used to separate flood-prone regions from areas with a low probability of flood occurrence. Based on the HAND-index, an exclusion mask was computed to reduce water look-alikes with respect to the hydrologictopographic setting. The applicability of this near-global ancillary data set for the thematic improvement of Sentinel-1 and TerraSAR-X based services for flood and surface water monitoring has been validated both qualitatively and quantitatively. Application of a HAND-based exclusion mask resulted in improvements to the classification accuracy of SAR scenes with high amounts of water look-alikes and considerable elevation differences.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/103635/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:An assessment of the ‘Height Above Nearest Drainage’ terrain descriptor for the thematic enhancement of automatic SAR-based flood monitoring services
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Chow, Candacecandace.chow (at) giub.unibe.chUNSPECIFIED
Twele, Andréandre.twele (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8035-2625
Martinis, Sandrosandro.martinis (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6400-361X
Date:25 October 2016
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of SPIE
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1117/12.2240766
Page Range:pp. 1-11
Series Name:Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XVIII
Keywords:height above nearest drainage (HAND), SAR, automatic flood detection, disaster management
Event Title:SPIE Remote Sensing 2016
Event Location:Edinburgh, Großbritannien
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:26.-29. Sept. 2016
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Zivile Kriseninformation und Georisiken (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Geo Risks and Civil Security
Deposited By: Twele, Andre
Deposited On:01 Apr 2016 10:33
Last Modified:09 Feb 2017 19:22

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