Better flood prediction on a global scale

Published on 11/12/2018

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) launched, in September 2018, and with funding from the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), the CASCADE project entitled "Combining earth observation with a large scale model cascade for assessing flood hazard at high spatial resolution". With this project, LIST intends to develop a new tool based on both satellite Earth observations and hydrodynamic models, for better assessment of the risk of large-scale flooding for at-risk basins.

Direct benefits for the populations affected

To develop this new system for predicting the occurrence and magnitude of floods applicable worldwide, the LIST research team specialising in remote sensing and the modelling of natural resources will be co-supervising a PhD thesis with the University of Montpellier, France. Together, to develop their tool, they will focus on several large at-risk basins, the River Severn in the UK and the Zambezi in Africa.

They will initially use long time-based series of satellite observations of the state of saturation of soils and flooded areas in pre-selected basins. They will then develop hydrological and hydraulic models on large rivers allowing for the prediction of water flow, and to determine how the water will be released. First configured and then evaluated under live conditions, the tool resulting from this approach should eventually lead to better understanding of the risk, more effective alerting of the populations at risk and better planning of humanitarian aid.

A long-term issue

The compiling of satellite data for research purposes has already helped the LIST to develop multiple technologies and services to prevent and manage floods via satellite. Many other projects are currently underway on the topic, such as the MOSQUITO "MOnitoring and predicting urban floods using Sar InTerferometric Observations" project, also funded by the FNR and focusing on similar technology to that of the CASCADE project, but specifically dealing with flooding in urban areas.

> For more information about CASCADE, please visit the project page

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