Terrestrial Water Cycle Seminar: Dr. Robert Adler (ESSIC)

Hosted by the Applicaitons group

A global flood and landslide detection/prediction system is now running in real-time using satellite multi-satellite rainfall analysis in combination with hydrological models and algorithms to estimate key flood and landslide parameters (http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov) (click on floods/landslides). The system also uses satellite-based land surface information such as digital elevation information from the NASA SRTM (Shuttle Radar Terrain Mission) and vegetation information from MODIS in he model and algorithm calculations.  Progress in using the TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) as input to these flood and landslide forecasts is outlined, with case studies as well as validation in terms of flood/landslide events. Results so far indicate the potential of such approaches, but also point out the limitations of the relatively simple techniques currently being used and the difficulties of trying to do validation on a global scale.  Recent examples using a new “state-of-the art” global hydrological model for the flood estimation will be shown and plans for an improved landslide algorithm will be outlined.  The potential use of global precipitation forecasts to link to the satellite rainfall observations and extend the flood and landslide calculations out to 3-5 days is also discussed.