Year after year, somewhere on Earth, natural or manmade disasters cause loss of life and widespread destruction, frequently spawning refugee situations. Major disasters can temporarily make existing maps obsolete, rewriting river boundaries, shorelines, and land features in an instant. When disasters strike and decision makers need to understand new situations on the ground, the best source of information often comes from the sky. Satellites, like Landsat, can tell decision makers what damage disasters have done, providing timely insight into flood extents, fire boundaries, lava flow directions, road traversability, and oil slick movements.
Floods are one of the most destructive natural disasters, which normally result in adversely sizeable impacts to human and regional economy of affected areas. Due to the sudden occurrence and short-term duration of flood events; the exploitation of multitemporal data is of paramount importance in order to observe and monitor the extent of flood disasters.
Landsat 8 imagery can easily contribute to the development of techniques for mapping flood extent and assessing flood damages through the combination of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) operations in order to improve the efficiency of flood disaster monitoring and management.
Floodplain mapping, Colorado Floods 2013