Active Archive of Large Floods, 1985-Present

Master Index of Inundation Maps

The Surface Water Record

River Watch

Other Flood Detection Tools

Sample Images and Maps






Global Active Archive of Large Flood Events, 1985-Present

Sample citation:

G.R. Brakenridge. Global Active Archive of Large Flood Events. Dartmouth Flood Observatory, University of Colorado, USA. http://floodobservatory.colorado.edu/ Archives/ (Accessed 1 October 2016).

Obtaining the Archive (includes database and associated GIS files):

The Global Active Archive is made available without charge for scholarly research and education purposes.


  • The information presented in this Archive is derived from news, governmental, instrumental, and remote sensing sources. The archive is "active" because current events are continually being added.
  • Each entry in the table and related "area affected" map outline represents a discrete flood event. However, repeat flooding in some regions is a complex phenomenon and may require a compromise between aggregating and dividing such events.
  • The listing is comprehensive and global in scope. Deaths and displaced estimates for tropical storms are totals from all causes, but tropical storms without significant river flooding are not included.
  • The Archive includes: a) an online .html table of recent events, only; b) Excel .xlsx and .xml files for all events, 1985-present, updated as the recent events html is updated; and c) Zip-compressed GIS MapInfo format and Shp format files, each providing flood catalog numbers, centroids, area affected outlines, and other attribute information and updated as the recent events html is updated.
  • Many floods have now been imaged by satellite and translated at the Dartmouth Flood Observatory into individual maps of inundation extents. See: DFO Flood Maps Index.
  • For additional information concerning how these maps and tables are created, please review further Archive Notes.

Below: Geographic Centers of floods in the FloodArchive GIS file, 1985-2010






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