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TitleNew flood mapping methods implemented during the 2017 spring flood activation in southern Quebec
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorOlthof, I; Tolszczuk-Leclerc, S; Lehrbass, B; Shelat, Y; Neufeld, V; Decker, V
SourceGeomatics Canada, Open File 38, 2018, 16 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceQuebec; Ontario
NTS31G/05; 31G/08; 31G/09; 31G/12; 31H/05; 31H/06; 31H/11; 31H/12; 31I/02; 31I/03; 31I/06; 31I/07
AreaOttawa River; St. Lawrence River; Lac St-Pierre; Rigaud; Lake of Two Mountains; Berthierville; Louiseville; Nicolet; Montreal; Gatineau; Ottawa; Gatineau River
Lat/Long WENS -76.0000 -72.0000 46.5000 45.0000
Subjectshydrogeology; geophysics; floods; mapping techniques; remote sensing; satellite imagery; surface waters; rivers; flood plains; vegetation; meteorology; precipitation; Emergency Geomatics Services (EGS); Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO); International Disasters Charter; Natural hazards; Methodology; Emergency services; Land cover
Illustrationslocation maps; satellite images; geoscientific sketch maps; flow diagrams; photographs
ProgramRemote Sensing Science
Released2018 02 21
AbstractSpring 2017 flooding in eastern Ontario and southern Quebec was caused by a number of consecutive record-setting rain events combined with melting snow between April 5 and mid-May. In Quebec, the event caused more than 5000 residences to flood in 261 municipalities, forcing mass evacuations and declaration of a state of emergency. The International Disasters Charter was activated shortly after, providing near-real time earth observation data from a range of sensors through Charter member agencies. Upon activation, the Emergency Geomatics Services (EGS) at the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), produced flood maps from RADARSAT-2 and Charter satellite imagery to provide up-to-date situational awareness. Previous methodologies to extract flood information were not adequate to map open water and flooded vegetation from all data received through the Charter, while work was ongoing in the previous year to develop reliable flood extraction methods from multiple sensors for floodplain characterization. These new methods were quickly adapted and put into operations during the activation, enabling rapid flood map production from RADARSAT-2, Sentinel-1 and TerraSar-X, among other sensors. This document describes the methodology and presents successes and challenges of the 2017 EGS activation for flooding in eastern Ontario and southern Quebec. From lessons learned during the 2017 activation, we also present a way forward to improve subsequent flood activations.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This report describes the 2017 Emergency Geomatics Services (EGS) activation for flooding in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. It presents a new, sucessful methodology for open water and flooded vegetation extraction from multiple optical and radar data made available through the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, including RADARSAT-2, Sentinel-1, TerraSar-X, among other sensors. It also presents some of the challenges faced during the activation related to the limitations of radar to map flooding under certain conditions, incorporating new data streams, data volume, processing capabilities and product validation. From lessons learned, recommendations and future research and development are proposed to help improve future EGS activations for flooding.

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