Active Archive of Large Floods, 1985-Present

Master Index of Inundation Maps

The Surface Water Record

Satellite River Discharge Measurements

River Watch

Other Flood Detection Tools

Sample Images and Maps






Space-based Measurement, Mapping, and Modeling of Surface Water

For Research, Humanitarian, and Water Resources Applications


Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System
INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Campus Box 450, Boulder, CO 80309 USA

Flood Observatory Mission Statement

The DFO Flood Observatory was established in 1993 at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH USA and moved to the University of Colorado, INSTAAR in 2010

DFO Flood Observatory Director Albert Kettner and Founder and Associate Director Robert Brakenridge


Current Mapping: June, 2024 Flooding in Sylhet, NE Bangladesh

Current Mapping: June, 2024 Flooding in Upper Midwest, USA


Congratulations to the World Food Programme (WFP) for receiving the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to combat hunger, for their contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and working to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict. DFO Flood Observatory is looking forward to flood response/flood hazard collaboration for many more years. See press release.
Video showing 2021 flooding in Rohingya refuge camps, Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh, WFP Bangladesh Country Office

DFO Flood Observatory Web Map Server



DFO Flood Hazard Maps

(Clickable white squares: hazard maps completed)

Whole Earth image from JHT's Planetary Pixel Emporium


River and Reservoir Watch

DFO's River and Reservoir Watch provides experimental, fully-automated satellite-based river discharge and reservoir area measurements.

Twice-daily updates at 2:30 and 14:30 Local Denver Time

River Watch 3


Flood and Drought Affected Watersheds

Twice-daily updates at 2:30 and 14:30 Local Denver Time


Current NASA Worldview MODIS-Terra Display


SSMI/SSMIS/AMSR2 Total Precipitable Water


Rivers in southern India: See River Watch Site 2041


River Watch also tracks droughts: River Watch Site 277, Zambezi River, Zambia.


Large and Extreme floods listed in the DFO Flood Archive


Geographic Centers of floods in the Flood Archive, 1985-2010

Movie of Flood Locations, 1985-2016

Recent Floods Mapped:

2021USA-Ida-5118 (incomplete)


2021Mozambique 5015
2020Nicaragua Eta 4970

Index of All Floods Mapped (1993-present)

Survey of DFO Projects and Products

About us:

Colorado Public Radio Interview: "The 2013 Floods Made the Research Personal"

Science Article about DFO by Jason Plautz

Just a thought:

Poem for a Transnational River

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This work is made possible by data acquired by NASA, the Japanese Space Agency, and the European Space Agency, and funding support from NASA and the European Commission, through the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) project, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy. The Observatory was founded in 1993 at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH USA and moved to the University of Colorado, INSTAAR, CSDMS in 2010. The institutional support of both universities is gratefully acknowledged.

http://floodobservatory.colorado.edu/Flood Observatory