ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0449.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: surface water extent; satellite earth observation; unmanned airborne systems
Online: 28 October 2022 (09:39:43 CEST)
Mapping and prediction of inundated areas is increasingly important for climate change adaptation and emergency preparedness. Flood forecasting tools and flood risk models have to be compared to observed flooding patterns for training, calibration, validation and benchmarking. At regional to continental scale, satellite earth observation is the established method for surface water extent (SWE) mapping and several operational global-scale data products are available. However, the spatial resolution of satellite-derived SWE maps remains a limiting factor, especially in low-lying areas with complex hydrography, such as Denmark. We collected thermal imagery using an unmanned airborne system (UAS) for three areas in Denmark shortly after major flooding events. We combined the thermal imagery with an airborne lidar-derived high-resolution digital surface model of the country to retrieve high-resolution (40 cm) SWE maps. The resulting SWE maps were compared to low-resolution SWE maps derived from satellite earth observation (EO). We conclude that UAS have significant potential for SWE mapping at intermediate scales, can bridge the scale gap between ground observations and satellite EO and can be used to benchmark and validate SWE mapping products derived from satellite EO as well as models predicting inundation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0521.v2
Online: 7 March 2022 (14:55:21 CET)
Surface velocity is traditionally measured with in situ techniques such as velocity probes (in shallow rivers) or Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (in deeper water). In the last years, researchers have developed remote sensing techniques, both optical (e.g., image-based velocimetry techniques) and microwave (e.g., Doppler radar). These techniques can be deployed from Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), which ensure fast and low-cost surveys also in remotely-accessible locations. We compare the results obtained with a UAS-borne Doppler radar and UAS-borne Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) in different rivers, which presented different hydraulic–morphological conditions (width, slope, surface roughness and sediment material). The Doppler radar was a commercial 24 GHz instrument, developed for static deployment, adapted for UAS integration. PIV was applied with natural seeding (e.g., foam, debris) when possible, or with artificial seeding (woodchips) in the stream where the density of natural particles was insufficient. PIV reconstructed the velocity profile with high accuracy typically in the order of a few cm s−1 and a coefficient of determination (R2) typically larger than 0.7 (in half of the cases larger than 0.85), when compared with acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) or velocity probe, in all investigated rivers. However, UAS-borne Doppler radar measurements show low reliability because of UAS vibrations, large instrument sampling footprint, large required sampling time and difficult-to-interpret quality indicators suggesting that additional research is needed to measure surface velocity from UAS-borne Doppler radar.