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The GOES-R Algorithm Working Group Analyzes Satellite Views
of the Tsunami and Flood in the Aftermath of the Japanese Earthquake

BEFORE: MODIS Terra 250m composite image view acquired on February 26, 2011, before the Tsunami. AFTER: MODIS Aqua 250m composite image view acquired on March 13, 2010, after the Tsunami
 
BEFORE: (left) MODIS Terra 250m composite image view acquired on February 26, 2011, before the Tsunami. AFTER: (right) MODIS Aqua 250m composite image view acquired on March 13, 2010, after the Tsunami
 

March 16, 2011 - In response to a request from the NOAA tsunami coordination team, the GOES-R Algorithm Working Group (AWG) land team performed a rapid analysis of the Japan tsunami and flood which followed the massive earthquake that struck northeastern Japan at 2:46 p.m. local time on March 11, 2011. The GOES-R ABI flood and standing water (FSW) detection algorithm was applied to both the MODIS Terra and Aqua data.

In the first set of images we can see a comparison of the coastal area before and after the tsunami and subsequent flooding. At left, a MODIS Terra 250m composite image view acquired on February 26, 2011, before the Tsunami. At right, a MODIS Aqua 250m composite image view acquired on March 13, 2011, after the Tsunami.

 

Color-coded view of Japanese coast after the tsunami; acquired from MODIS Aqua 250m reflectance data acquired on 03:55 March 13, 2011 Color-coded view of Japanese coast after the tsunami; acquired from MODIS Aqua 250m reflectance data acquired on 03:55 March 13, 2011 - zoom view
Color-coded views of the Japanese coast after the earthquake and tsunami
 
 

Color-coded Images Illustrate Areas of Flooding after the Tsunami

The images at right show flood detection based on a comparison of before and after images of the coastal area. The baseline image before the tsunami was acquired from MODIS Terra 250m reflectance data acquired on 01:20 February 26, 2011; the image after the tsunami was acquired from MODIS Aqua 250m reflectance data acquired on 03:55 March 13, 2011; The differences are based on the geolocation, which is provided by MOD03. In the images above, the flooded areas are red, the land is green, and permanent water is marked blue. The quick and accurate production of these images using the FSW algorithm is a significant and successful test of this new data product.

Special thanks to the efforts of Rui Zhang, Yunyue Yu and Donglian Sun


Data, algorithms, and images presented on STAR websites are intended for experimental use only and are not supported on an operational basis.  More information

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