Flood

This Copernicus Sentinel-1 image combines two acquisitions over the same area of eastern Iraq, one from 14 November 2018 before heavy rains fell and one from 26 November 2018 after the storms. The image reveals the extent of flash flooding in red, near the town of Kut. Image: modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2018), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.

Definition

Flood is usually used as a general term to describe the overflow of water from a stream channel into normally dry land in the floodplain (riverine flooding), higher-than–normal levels along the coast and in lakes or reservoirs (coastal flooding) as well as ponding of water at or near the point where the rain fell (flash floods) (IRDR Glossary).

Facts and figures

Floods are the natural hazard with the highest frequency and the widest geographical distribution worldwide. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)  flooding is one of the most common, widespread and destructive natural perils, affecting approximately 250 million people worldwide and causing more than $40 billion in damage and losses on an annual basis (OECD).

Flooding occurs most commonly from heavy rainfall when natural watercourses lack the capacity to convey excess water. It can also result from other phenomena, particularly in coastal areas, by a storm surge associated with a tropical cyclone, a tsunami or a high tide. Dam failure, triggered by an earthquake, for instance, will lead to flooding of the downstream area, even in dry weather conditions.

Various climatic and non-climatic processes can result in different types of floods: riverine floods, flash floods, urban floods, glacial lake outburst floods and coastal floods.

Flood magnitude depends on precipitation intensity, volume, timing and phase, from the antecedent conditions of rivers and the drainage basins (frozen or not or saturated soil moisture or unsaturated) and status. Climatological parameters that are likely to be affected by climate change are precipitation, windstorms, storm surges and sea-level rise (UNDRR).

When floodwaters recede, affected areas are often blanketed in silt and mud. The water and landscape can be contaminated with hazardous materials such as sharp debris, pesticides, fuel, and untreated sewage. Potentially dangerous mold blooms can quickly overwhelm water-soaked structures. Residents of flooded areas can be left without power and clean drinking water, leading to outbreaks of deadly waterborne diseases like typhoid, hepatitis A, and cholera (UNDRR).

Related content on the Knowledge Portal

SAM Satellite

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was launched into orbit on November 21, 2020. The launch was a culminated European-American effort that involved organisations from both sides of the atlantic. The European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meterological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Centre for Space Studes (CNES) all collaborated together to make the launch of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich a reality.​ The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite is the first of the Sentinel-6 satellites. An identical satellite, Sentinel-6B will follow in 2025. At an altitude of 1336 km the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite will use instruments on board to provide highly accurate measurements of the sea level in an effort to... read more

Launch date:
21/11/2020

The Argentinean Microwaves Observation Satellite 1B (SAOCOM 1B) was launched into orbit on August 30, 2020 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, United States of America. Developed by the National Argentinean Space Commission (CONAE) in corporation with the Italian Space Agency (ASI), this new satellite joined SAOCOM 1A and four Italian COSMO-SkyMed to complete the Italian-Argentinean Satellite System for Emergency Management (SIASGE). The SAOCOM 1B satellite orbits at 620 km above the earth's surface and is fitted with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)... read more

Launch date:
30/08/2020

Comprised of three identical Earth observation satellites working together, Canada's RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) provides daily information about the condition of the Earth's surface. Launched on 12 June 2019, the satellites build upon a legacy of Canadian RADARSAT satellites that spans over twenty years. The RCM will ensure that this data remains available to Canadians, and will provide information to assist in areas such as maritime surveillance, disaster management, and ecosystem monitoring. In terms of maritime surveillance, information collected by the RCM contributes to ice, surface wind, oil pollution, and ship monitoring. RCM information can aid disaster management efforts in terms of mitigation, warning, recovery, and response, and can allow for detailed ecosystem monitoring including in the areas of agriculture, wildlife habitat, wetlands, forestry, and coastal change. The constellation's use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) allows data to be collected day and... read more

Launch date:
12/06/2019

MetOp-C is the third and last satellite of the MetOp series that forms the space segment of the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS).
MetOp (Meteorological Operational) is Europe's first polar-orbiting operational meteorological satellite. It is the European contribution to the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS), a co-operative agreement between Eumetsat and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide data for climate and environmental monitoring and improved weather forecasting.
MetOp-A (launched on 19 October 2006), MetOp-B (launched on 17 September 2012) and MetOp-C (launched 7 November 2018) are in a lower polar orbit, at an altitude of 817 kilometres, to provide more detailed observations of the global atmosphere, oceans and continents. The three satellites will operate in unison for as long as Metop-A's available capacities bring benefits to users. NOAA still continues to operate its mid-afternoon orbit satellite service as part of the Polar Orbit... read more

Launch date:
07/11/2018

Carrying a suite of cutting-edge instruments, Sentinel-3 will measure systematically Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere to monitor and understand large-scale global dynamics. It will provide essential information in near-real time for ocean and weather forecasting.
The mission is based on two identical satellites orbiting in constellation for optimum global coverage and data delivery. For example, with a swath width of 1270 km, the ocean and land colour instrument will provide global coverage every two days. Sentinel-3B was launched on 25 April 2018.
With a focus towards our oceans, Sentinel-3 measures the temperature, colour and height of the sea surface as well as the thickness of sea ice. These measurements will be used, for example, to monitor changes in sea level, marine pollution and biological productivity.
Over land, this innovative mission will provide a bigger picture by monitoring wildfires, mapping the way land is used, provide indices of vegetation... read more

Launch date:
25/04/2018

Cartosat-2 is an advanced remote sensing satellite with a single panchromatic camera (PAN) capable of providing scene-specific spot imageries for cartographic applications. The camera is designed to provide imageries with better than one meter spatial resolution and a swath of 10 km. The satellite will have high agility with capability to steer along and across the track up to + 45 degrees. It will be placed in a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 630 km. It will have a revisit period of four days. The re-visit can be improved to one day with suitable orbit manoeuvres.

Several new technologies like two mirror on axis single camera, Carbon Fabric Reinforced Plastic based electro optic structure, lightweight, large size mirrors, JPEG like data compression, advanced solid state recorder, high-torque reaction wheels and high performance star sensors are being employed in Cartosat-2.

Beginning with Cartosat 2C, a Multi-spectral camera was added and a lower 505... read more

Launch date:
23/06/2017

The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed specifically to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Commission’s Copernicus programme.
Sentinel-2 carries an innovative wide swath high-resolution multispectral imager with 13 spectral bands for a new perspective of our land and vegetation. The combination of high resolution, novel spectral capabilities, a swath width of 290 km and frequent revisit times provides unprecedented views of Earth.
The mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites in the same orbit, 180° apart for optimal coverage and data delivery. Together they cover all Earth’s land surfaces, large islands, inland and coastal waters every five days at the equator. Sentinel-2B was launched on 7 March 2017.
As well as monitoring plant growth, Sentinel-2 can be used to map changes in land cover and to monitor the world’s forests. It also provides information on pollution in lakes and coastal waters.... read more

Launch date:
07/03/2017

Cartosat-2 is an advanced remote sensing satellite with a single panchromatic camera (PAN) capable of providing scene-specific spot imageries for cartographic applications. The camera is designed to provide imageries with better than one meter spatial resolution and a swath of 10 km. The satellite will have high agility with capability to steer along and across the track up to + 45 degrees. It will be placed in a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 630 km. It will have a revisit period of four days. The re-visit can be improved to one day with suitable orbit manoeuvres.

Several new technologies like two mirror on axis single camera, Carbon Fabric Reinforced Plastic based electro optic structure, lightweight, large size mirrors, JPEG like data compression, advanced solid state recorder, high-torque reaction wheels and high performance star sensors are... read more

Launch date:
15/02/2017

Cartosat-2 is an advanced remote sensing satellite with a single panchromatic camera (PAN) capable of providing scene-specific spot imageries for cartographic applications. The camera is designed to provide imageries with better than one meter spatial resolution and a swath of 10 km. The satellite will have high agility with capability to steer along and across the track up to + 45 degrees. It will be placed in a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 630 km. It will have a revisit period of four days. The re-visit can be improved to one day with suitable orbit manoeuvres.

Several new technologies like two mirror on axis single camera, Carbon Fabric Reinforced Plastic based electro optic structure, lightweight, large size mirrors, JPEG like data compression, advanced solid state recorder, high-torque reaction wheels and high performance star sensors are being employed in Cartosat-2.

Beginning with Cartosat 2C, a Multi-spectral camera was added and a lower 505... read more

Launch date:
22/06/2016

Sentinel-1 is a two satellite constellation with the prime objectives of land and ocean monitoring. The goal of the mission is to provide C-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data continuity following the retirement of ERS-2 and the end of the Envisat mission.
To accomplish this the satellites carry a C-SAR sensor, which offers medium and high resolution imaging in all weather conditiions. The C-SAR is capable of obtaining night imagery and detecting small movement on the ground, which makes it useful for land and sea monitoring.
Sentinel-1 will work in a pre-programmed operation mode to avoid conflicts and to produce a consistent long-term data archive built for applications based on long time series.
The mission benefits numerous services. For example, services that relate to the monitoring of Arctic sea-ice extent, routine sea-ice mapping, surveillance of the marine environment, including oil-spill monitoring and ship detection for maritime security, monitoring... read more

Launch date:
25/04/2016

Pages

Hazard group

Terms in the same hazard group

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.