Multi-Date Image Analyses Used for Determining Flood Area Impacts in the Saginaw River Basin, Michigan

by Roger L. Gauthier, U.S. Army Engineer District, Detroit, United States,
William J. Kempisty, U.S. Army Engineer District, Detroit, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL)


During the months of September and October 1986, a series of storms swept across the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. These heavy downpours caused $400 million worth of flood damages. Significant rainfall occurred over a 26,000 square mile area on 26 consecutive days, with total rainfall recorded at 14 to 20 inches. The problem of determining the extent of flooding over a large area is one ideally suited for the use of satellite imagery. The flood extent that occurred in the Saginaw River basin in 1986 was determined by overlays of water coverages from multidate Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) imagery. Landsat-TM imagery collected in 1984 was used to derive land use/cover classifications. Landsat-TM and NOAA-AVHRR imagery, collected in 1986 were used to determine flood area extent. Acreage estimates of flooding, by land use/cover type, were generated and mapped. Classification accuracies are discussed.

Subject Headings: Floods | Rivers and streams | Retention basins | Computer vision and image processing | Basins | Mapping | Rainfall | Aerial photography | Michigan | United States

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