Standing water detection with radar

Synthetic Aperture Radar analysis of Amsterdam’s Noorderpark during a flooding event.

Synthetic Aperture Radar analysis of Amsterdam’s Noorderpark during a flooding event.

 

FROM DRAINAGE AREAS TO STANDING WATER

In June 2017, the New York Times wrote, “In the waterlogged Netherlands, climate change is considered neither a hypothetical nor a drag on the economy. Instead, it’s an opportunity.” The Dutch have, long ago, learned to let water in, rather than struggle to defeat it. As such, lakes, parks, and plazas have been built to double as enormous reservoirs for when the rains, seas, and rivers spill over.

To combat flooding in Amsterdam, parks act as natural drainage areas in times of extreme precipitation. Yet, despite the city’s best efforts, standing water can still form in certain park areas, causing infrastructure degradation and tree rot. In Noorderpark, in the north of Amsterdam, standing water is a particular problem after persistent and heavy rains.

Space-borne remote sensing is widely recognized as a technique that is beneficial for quantitative estimation of flooding. We used Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), an active microwave remote sensing technique with the capability of being independent of solar illumination, to map standing water in Amsterdam’s Noorderpark. 

These initial, promising results can be scaled up to other parks across the city, and because SAR systems are capable of acquiring observations during day, night, and even under extreme weather conditions, can be scaled up to cities across the world.

TOOLS & SERVICES:

  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors

  • Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery

KEY OBJECTIVES:

  • Flood risk management

 
 

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