Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dartmouth Flood Observatory tracks the aftermath of Katrina

13.09.2005


DFO’s maps aid flood analysis, providing insight into river and coastal flooding due to storm surge



Researchers with the Dartmouth Flood Observatory at Dartmouth College have been working with state and federal officials, along with representatives from NGOs, to help map and analyze the flooding that has occurred as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The maps not only provide an overview of the impact and enormity of the flooding, they also preserve a day-to-day record of this flood to be analyzed in the coming months. The images will also be archived to support research into global flooding trends and climate change.

The DFO’s director, G. Robert Brakenridge, says that the partnerships between organizations have been vital to quickly assembling maps that illustrate current flooding and outline other areas for potential flood activity. The DFO was the first to publish on the Internet, on August 31, regional detailed maps of the flood inundation. Some of the DFO’s maps are used by media.


Brakenridge, a research associate professor of geography at Dartmouth, explains that high-resolution data is not needed for initial mapping efforts. In fact, to obtain high-resolution data of specific sites, satellites require some lead time to orbit to reach the part of the Earth that’s involved. Using NASA’s MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) equipped satellites, the DFO receives images quickly.

Brakenridge says, "MODIS doesn’t provide high spatial-resolution imagery. Each image pixel represents about 250 meters. We can’t see individual houses or roads, but the entire Earth is covered, twice per day. The sensors are always on, and always downloading the image data, so we can obtain decent quality imaging of flood water quickly. That is important. MODIS was not planned at all for its use in natural disasters, but it has proven its utility time and time again."

Brakenridge participates in a daily teleconference with various officials representing FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army and the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to name a few. On the table for discussion is coordination between the agencies; dissemination of aerial, satellite and field-based data; and avoiding duplication of efforts. This daily exchange of information speeds the map making and map distribution processes. Another helpful asset is the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters. Satellite data from other countries, such as from the French SPOT satellite, was made available to US disaster response organizations, including the DFO, and in agreement with a memorandum of understanding signed by most of the world’s space agencies.

"University and college research groups, like the DFO, can help improve society’s response to natural disasters," says Brakenridge. "We can sometimes be much more nimble than large federal agencies in using satellite data in new ways, and we can more quickly produce inundation maps that might be useful to emergency response personnel."

Brakenridge and his team have distributed similar maps during other flooding events, such as during the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December 2004, and during the flooding in the Dominican Republic in May 2004. Maps, flood archives and more information available at the DFO’s website.

Sue Knapp | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~floods/
http://www.dartmouth.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>