Mapping of Flood Areas Using Landsat with Google Earth Engine Cloud Platform

Mapping of Flood Areas Using Landsat with Google Earth Engine Cloud Platform

Mehmood, Hamid, Crystal Conway, and Duminda Perera. 2021. “Mapping of Flood Areas Using Landsat with Google Earth Engine Cloud Platform” Atmosphere 12, no. 7: 866. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12070866

Abstract

The Earth Observation (EO) domain can provide valuable information products that can significantly reduce the cost of mapping flood extent and improve the accuracy of mapping and monitoring systems. In this study, Landsat 5, 7, and 8 were utilized to map flood inundation areas. Google Earth Engine (GEE) was used to implement Flood Mapping Algorithm (FMA) and process the Landsat data. FMA relies on developing a “data cube”, which is spatially overlapped pixels of Landsat 5, 7, and 8 imagery captured over a period of time. This data cube is used to identify temporary and permanent water bodies using the Modified Normalized Difference Water Index (MNDWI) and site-specific elevation and land use data. The results were assessed by calculating a confusion matrix for nine flood events spread over the globe. The FMA had a high true positive accuracy ranging from 71–90% and overall accuracy in the range of 74–89%. In short, observations from FMA in GEE can be used as a rapid and robust hindsight tool for mapping flood inundation areas, training AI models, and enhancing existing efforts towards flood mitigation, monitoring, and management.