P1.36 Use of Satellite Images for Surface Conditions Monitoring in the Upper Mississippi Watershed During the Flood Event of 2008

Thursday, 12 November 2009
Ruben Neira, NOAA/CREST/REU, Corona, NY

The 2008 Iowa floods were the worst inundations in the state's

history, lasting from June 8th to July 1st. The study focused on

measuring the quantity and quality of vegetation growth throughout the

state as well as examining the most impacted region in the state, the

region in and around Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, through remote

sensing. The study utilized three types of data: surface reflectance,

Leaf Area Index (LAI), and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index

(NDVI). The surface reflectance data gave three dates, May 8, June 9,

and July 11, 2008, which best exemplified pre-, during, and post flood

conditions. LAI revealed that, during the flood period, vegetation

levels in 2008 were at a lower level than those of 2007. It also,

unexpectedly, indicated a post-July vegetation boom for 2008, giving

it a conspicuously higher vegetation value than that of 2007. NDVI

data corroborated previous findings even though it differentiated

between healthy, unhealthy, and dead vegetation. After isolating the

most affected area, it was discovered that the same phenomenon was

substantiated but only in a more conspicuous fashion. The findings

are to be further corroborated by AMSR-E passive microwave data which

would measure soil moisture over the two years. In general, we expect

our findings to be supported in the near future and anticipate results

on how long the soil was saturated after the flood to maybe help

explain the findings of this study.

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