Earth observation and hydraulic data assimilation for improved flood inundation forecasting

Antara Dasgupta, Renaud Hostache, Raaj Ramsankaran, Stefania Grimaldi, Patrick Matgen, Marco Chini, Valentijn R.N. Pauwels, Jeffrey P. Walker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Accurately simulating floodplain inundation is absolutely vital to minimize damage to life and property. The giant strides made in advanced computing, now allow running increasingly complex models at reasonable resolutions over large areas, with the promise of further improvement in the near future. However, the uncertainty contributed by input, boundary, and forcing data, often leads to highly erroneous predictions. As spatially distributed Earth Observations of flood extent and water level become increasingly available, they pave the way for further constraining, and hence, improving the accuracy of hydraulic flood forecasting models. Effectively using these datasets requires an in-depth understanding of the impacts that the resolution, accuracy, location, timing, and frequency of acquisition of observations may have on model-data integration efforts. This chapter presents a review of the current capabilities in the field of flood data assimilation. The challenges and opportunities of using Earth Observation data for operational flood inundation forecasting are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarth Observation for Flood Applications
Subtitle of host publicationProgress and Perspectives
EditorsGuy J-P. Schumann
Place of PublicationAmsterdam Netherlands
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9780128194126
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Flood data assimilation
  • Flood extent
  • Flood forecasting
  • Hydraulic modeling
  • SAR
  • Synthetic aperture radar
  • Water level

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