Satellite data to improve flood forecasting

As the residents of Queensland, Australia, turn to the mammoth task of cleaning up after the devastating floods over the last weeks, data from ESA's Earth observation satellites are showing potential for delivering more timely warnings.

The floods in Queensland have been the worst in decades – and with high waters now hitting parts of the southern state of Victoria, this disaster is not over yet.

Although the heavy rains in Australia have been triggered by La Niña, it is thought that climate change may result in more frequent flood events. Clearly, it is becoming increasingly important to improve flood warning and monitoring systems.

Through a project funded by ESA's Data User Element, observations from the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) on Envisat are now used to increase the reliability of information that is fed into models for monitoring and forecasting floods.





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