Permanent water and flash flood detection using global navigation satellite system reflectometry

Ghasemigoudarzi, Pedram (2021) Permanent water and flash flood detection using global navigation satellite system reflectometry. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In this thesis, research for inland water extent and flash floods remote sensing using Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry (GNSS-R) data of the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) is presented. Firstly, a high-resolution Machine Learning (ML) method for detecting inland water extent using the CYGNSS data is implemented via the Random Under-Sampling Boosted (RUSBoost) algorithm. The CYGNSS data of the year 2018 over the Congo and Amazon basins are gridded into 0.01゚ × 0.01゚ cells. The RUSBoost-based classifier is trained and tested with the CYGNSS data over the Congo basin. The Amazon basin data that is unknown to the classifier is then used for further evaluation. Using only three observables extracted from the CYGNSS Delay-Doppler Maps (DDMs), the proposed technique is able to detect 95.4% and 93.3% of the water bodies over the Congo and Amazon basins, respectively. The performance of the RUSBoost-based classifier is also compared with an image processing based inland water detection method. For the Congo and Amazon basins, the RUSBoost-based classifier has a 3.9% and 14.2% higher water detection accuracies, respectively. Secondly, a flash flood detection method using the CYGNSS data is investigated. Considering Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma as two case studies, six different Data Preparation Approaches (DPAs) for flood detection based on the CYGNSS data and the RUSBoost classification algorithm are investigated in this thesis. Taking flood and land as two classes, flash flood detection is tackled as a binary classification problem. Eleven observables are extracted from the DDMs for feature selection. These observables, alongside two features from ancillary data, are considered in feature selection. All the combinations of these observables with and without ancillary data are fed into the classifier with 5-fold cross-validation one-by-one. Based on the test results, five observables with the ancillary data are selected as a suitable feature vector for flood detection here. Using the selected feature vector, six different DPAs are investigated and compared to find the best one for flash flood detection. Then, the performance of the proposed method is compared with that of a Support Vector Machine (SVM) based classifier. For Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the selected method is able to detect 89.00% and 85.00% of flooded points, respectively, with a resolution of 500m × 500m, and the detection accuracy for non-flooded land points is 97.20% and 71.00%, respectively.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15044
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 77-95).
Keywords: Inland water detection, Flood detection, Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry (GNSS-R), CYGNSS, Random Under-Sampling Boosted (RUSBoost), Support Vector Machine (SVM), Flash flood detection, Permanent water detection
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: May 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Flood damage prevention--Methodology; Global Positioning System.

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