Rapid response flood detection using the MSG geostationary satellite

Simon Richard Proud, Rasmus Fensholt, Laura Vang Rasmussen, Inge Sandholt

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A novel technique for the detection of flooded land using satellite data is presented. This new method takes advantage of the high temporal resolution of the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) aboard the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) series of satellites to derive several parameters that describe the sensitivity of land surface reflectivity to variation in solar position throughout the day. Examination of these parameters can then yield information describing the nature of the surface being viewed, including the presence of water due to flooding, on a 3-day basis. An analysis of data gathered during the 2009 flooding events in West Africa shows that the presented method can detect floods of comparable size to the SEVIRI pixel resolution on a short timescale, making it a valuable tool for large scale flood mapping. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)536-544
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Meteosat Second Generation
  • Flooding
  • BRDF
  • Anisotropy


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