A multi-sensor data-driven methodology for all-sky passive microwave inundation retrieval
Abstract. We present a multi-sensor Bayesian passive microwave retrieval algorithm for flood inundation mapping at high spatial and temporal resolutions. The algorithm takes advantage of observations from multiple sensors in optical, short-infrared, and microwave bands, thereby allowing for detection and mapping of the sub-pixel fraction of inundated areas under almost all-sky conditions. The method relies on a nearest-neighbor search and a modern sparsity-promoting inversion method that make use of an a priori dataset in the form of two joint dictionaries. These dictionaries contain almost overlapping observations by the Special Sensor Microwave Imager and Sounder (SSMIS) on board the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F17 satellite and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board the Aqua and Terra satellites. Evaluation of the retrieval algorithm over the Mekong Delta shows that it is capable of capturing to a good degree the inundation diurnal variability due to localized convective precipitation. At longer timescales, the results demonstrate consistency with the ground-based water level observations, denoting that the method is properly capturing inundation seasonal patterns in response to regional monsoonal rain. The calculated Euclidean distance, rank-correlation, and also copula quantile analysis demonstrate a good agreement between the outputs of the algorithm and the observed water levels at monthly and daily timescales. The current inundation products are at a resolution of 12.5 km and taken twice per day, but a higher resolution (order of 5 km and every 3 h) can be achieved using the same algorithm with the dictionary populated by the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) products.