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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-312
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-312
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: brief communication 29 Oct 2019

Submitted as: brief communication | 29 Oct 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Brief communication: Hurricane Dorian: automated near-real-time mapping of the unprecedented flooding on the Bahamas using SAR

Diego Cerrai1, Qing Yang2, Xinyi Shen1, Marika Koukoula1, and Emmanouil N. Anagnostou1 Diego Cerrai et al.
  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs (CT), 06279, USA
  • 2College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Guangxi University, Nanning, Guangxi, 530004, China

Abstract. Lack of real-time, in situ data on the extent of flooding in many parts of the world can hinder efficient disaster response. With the advent of satellite-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors, we can deploy techniques to identify flooded areas worldwide while storms are occurring. In this communication, we present an automated near-real-time (NRT) system called RAdar-Produced Inundation Diary (RAPID), applying it to European Space Agency Sentinel-1 SAR images to produce flooding maps for Hurricane Dorian in the northern Bahamas. Images from RAPID released two days after the event show coastal flooding in the Bahamas reached areas located more than 10 km inland, covering more than 3,000 km2 of continental area. RAPID flood estimates from subsequent SAR images show the recession of the flood across the islands.

Diego Cerrai et al.
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Diego Cerrai et al.
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Short summary
On 1 September 2019 Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Great Abaco Island unleashing unprecedented destruction on the Northern Bahamas. Dorian was characterized by extreme winds, extensive coastal flooding and impressive precipitation. We studied the event through images acquired by the synthetic aperture radars (SAR) mounted on European Space Agency's satellites to derive flooding maps showing the extent of the devastation. We found that the flooded area in the Bahamas was at least 3000 km2.
On 1 September 2019 Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Great Abaco Island unleashing...
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