Articles | Volume 18, issue 11
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 4325–4339, 2014
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 4325–4339, 2014

Research article 04 Nov 2014

Research article | 04 Nov 2014

Variational assimilation of remotely sensed flood extents using a 2-D flood model

X. Lai1, Q. Liang2, H. Yesou3, and S. Daillet4 X. Lai et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography & Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008 P.R. China
  • 2School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK
  • 3SERTIT, Université de Strasbourg, Bd Sébastien Brant, BP 10413 67412 Illkirch, France
  • 4LEGOS/CNES, 18 avenue Edouard Belin, 31401 Toulouse, CEDEX 9, France

Abstract. A variational data assimilation (4D-Var) method is proposed to directly assimilate flood extents into a 2-D dynamic flood model to explore a novel way of utilizing the rich source of remotely sensed data available from satellite imagery for better analyzing or predicting flood routing processes. For this purpose, a new cost function is specially defined to effectively fuse the hydraulic information that is implicitly indicated in flood extents. The potential of using remotely sensed flood extents for improving the analysis of flood routing processes is demonstrated by applying the present new data assimilation approach to both idealized and realistic numerical experiments.