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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


From 1 June to 29 August 2018, Kerala, a state in southwestern India, recorded 36% excess rainfall than normal levels, leading to widespread floods and landslides events and resulting in 445 deaths. In this study, satellite-based data were used to map the flood inundation in the districts of Thrissur, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Idukki and Kottayam. Specifically, flood delineation was enabled with Sentinel-1A radar data of 21 August 2018 and was compared with an average pre-flood, water-cover map based on Modified Normalized Difference Water Index (MNDWI) that was developed using a January and February 2018 Sentinel-2A dataset. A 90% increase in water cover was observed during the August 2018 flood event. Low lying areas in the coastal plains of Kuttanad and the Kole lands of Thrissur, had marked a rise of up to 5 and 10 m of water, respectively, during this deluge. These estimates are conservative as that the flood waters had started receding prior to the August 21 Sentinel-1A imagery.

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Publication Title

Goematics, Natural Hazards and Risk

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


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