Flood Mapping in near-real-time

In 2013 CAF´s GeoSUR Program and the Dartmouth Flooding Observatory (DFO) of the University of Colorado started a project to map floods in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The new system will enable users to:

- Visualize and download a digital and regional map of current floods in near real time

- Have access to a geo-referenced registry of the historic floods in the region,

- Estimate river discharge using remote sensors in selected sites.

The DFO has the capacity to generate near-real-time flood maps with global coverage on a daily basis. The MODIS sensor used by this service offers global coverage twice per day, with a spatial resolution of 250 meters, and two optic bands used to map water rises.

Specialists from Latin America and the Caribbean, selected by the GeoSUR Program, will be in charge of monitoring the internet for the occurrence of floods in the region. The approximate coordinates of each event will be registered in an automatic system that will allow for the mapping of the complete cycle of floods in a specific area. The data relating to floods that are under way will be available in the DFO web site and may be accessed from the GeoSUR web site. The daily maps will be consolidated into annual and historical maps which will be available to be visualized, analyzed, and downloaded in GeoSUR’s Regional Map Service.

The project will also generate daily estimates of fiver flow using remote sensing for selected sites in the Latin American and Caribbean river network. For this end, the network of measuring points of river flow, maintained by the River Watch system operated by the DFO, will be increased. Currently, River Watch monitors the flow of approximately 120 points in the region. With the project, the network will increase to cover more than 1,500 points.

River Watch can identify and display watersheds that are experiencing a river flow which is unusually low (drought) or unusually high (possible flooding), in addition to generating a daily series of flows that goes back to 1998 in each measurement site.

The whole system will continue to be operated by the DFO, and access to its data will be offered from the GeoSUR regional map viewer in order to integrate the information on near-real-time floods and river flow with the geospatial datasets maintained by GeoSUR.


                                                                                         Flow data of a Red River Watch site (summarized by month)

Click here to download a profile of the project.












Red River Watch (en amarillo se muestran puntos que presentan un déficit de caudal)