Articles | Volume 11, issue 2
14 Feb 2011
 | 14 Feb 2011

Flood risks in urbanized areas – multi-sensoral approaches using remotely sensed data for risk assessment

H. Taubenböck, M. Wurm, M. Netzband, H. Zwenzner, A. Roth, A. Rahman, and S. Dech

Abstract. Estimating flood risks and managing disasters combines knowledge in climatology, meteorology, hydrology, hydraulic engineering, statistics, planning and geography – thus a complex multi-faceted problem. This study focuses on the capabilities of multi-source remote sensing data to support decision-making before, during and after a flood event. With our focus on urbanized areas, sample methods and applications show multi-scale products from the hazard and vulnerability perspective of the risk framework. From the hazard side, we present capabilities with which to assess flood-prone areas before an expected disaster. Then we map the spatial impact during or after a flood and finally, we analyze damage grades after a flood disaster. From the vulnerability side, we monitor urbanization over time on an urban footprint level, classify urban structures on an individual building level, assess building stability and quantify probably affected people. The results show a large database for sustainable development and for developing mitigation strategies, ad-hoc coordination of relief measures and organizing rehabilitation.