Space-based Measurement, Mapping, and Modeling of Surface
For Research, Humanitarian, and Water Management Applications
Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System
INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Campus Box 450, Boulder, CO 80309 USA
Flood Observatory Mission Statement
The Dartmouth Flood Observatory was founded in 1993 at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH USA and moved to the University of Colorado, INSTAAR in 2010. Its sustained operation depends on grant and project support. Charitable contributions are accepted and may be tax-deductible. If you or your organization uses these data and maps, consider helping sustain the Observatory
Vitae: Flood Observatory Director Albert Kettner and Founder and Associate Director Robert Brakenridge
Movie of Flood Locations, 1985-2016
Flood Observatory Web Map Server
GeoSUR Web Map Server (turn on "LAC Floods" and "River Flow" layers)
Science Story about DFO by Jason Plautz
Read new article: "Adaptation required to preserve future high-end river flood risk at present levels"
GFP 2018: The next Global Flood Partnership meeting will be on 25 - 27 June 2018 in Delft, The Netherlands, hosted by Deltares Institute. We will focus on the services that GFP can provide in predicting and managing flood impacts and flood risk globally. There may be travel support available for a limited number of participants from developing countries. Details will be posted in early 2018. There is no registration fee.
New, April 18, 2018. Flash flooding on Kauai, Hawaii, as imaged and mapped by April 15 Sentinel SAR image data (from ESA/Copernicus). DFO mapping in progress, GIS files will soon be available.
New: 2017 Flooding in Vietnam, Cyclone Damrey; 2017 Flooding in Thailand; Reservoir Status Monitoring (example for Lake Nasser); (example for Merowe Reservoir, Sudan); "Can Atmospheric Reanalysis Data Sets Be Used to Reproduce Flooding Over Large Scales?"; 2017 Flooding In Vietnam; 2017 Hurricane Nate Flooding; 2017 Hurricane Irma Flooding; 2017 Hurricane Harvey Flooding; 2017 Hurricane Maria Flooding
(Red: Reported major floods during past 20 days. White squares: Current Conditions displays)
Whole Earth image from JHT's Planetary Pixel Emporium
Since late 1999, satellite data have been obtained by the Flood Observatory, processed to detect water/land boundaries, and analyzed to produce flood inundation limits in vector GIS format. DFO's Current Conditions updates this information each day into displays showing current surface water compared to the record of flooding. In 2017, we are revising the displays for global coverage. New format sample: 090E030N.
River and Reservoir Watch
DFO's River and Reservoir Watch provides experimental, fully automated satellite-based river discharge and reservoir area measurements. They are updated daily. Ground-based gauging stations can accurately observe flow changes along rivers and streams (blue line in example below, Site #91, Wabash River, central USA). Using specially processed microwave information (in black), satellite data can provide similar data at very much lower cost and across international boundaries. DFO is developing an array of validated measurement sites for the Earth (click on link above or map below).
Twice-daily updates at 2:30 and 14:30 Local Denver Time
Flood-generating (red) and Drought-affected (yellow) Watersheds
Daily updates at 14:30 Local Denver Time. Data are from River Watch.
Vegetation Index-Indicated Drought
Daily updates at DFO at 6:00 local Denver time; source image is updated weekly