SUPERVISED CLASSIFICATION METHODS FOR AUTOMATIC DAMAGE DETECTION CAUSED BY HEAVY RAINFALL USING MULTITEMPORAL HIGH RESOLUTION OPTICAL IMAGERY AND AUXILIARY DATA
Keywords: optical remote sensing, rainwater runoff, damage, vegetation index, change detection, supervised classification
Abstract. In the context of climate change and rising frequency of extreme hydro-meteorological events around the world, flood risk management and mapping of heavy rainfall-related damages represent an ongoing critical challenge. For decades now, remote sensing has been largely used to investigate spatial and temporal changes in land use and water resources. Today, different satellite products provide fast and crucial knowledge for the study of hydrological disasters over large areas, possibly in remote regions, with high spatial resolution and high revisit frequency. Yet, until now, few works have sought to detect the full range of extreme rainfall-related damages with optical imagery, especially those caused by intense rainwater runoff beyond the direct vicinity of major waterways. The work presented in this paper focuses on the Aude severe weather event of October 15th, 2018, in the South of France, for which more than a thousand claims for agricultural disaster were registered, both related to river overflowing and rainwater runoff.
The full resources of ground truths, contextual information, land use as well as digital elevation model (DEM) combined to high resolution and high frequency optical imagery (Sentinel-2, Pléiades) are used to develop an automatic damage detection method based on supervised classification algorithms. Through the combination of several indicators characterizing heterogeneous spectral variations among agricultural plots following the event, a Gaussian process classifier achieved various classification accuracies up to 90% on a large comparable and independent photo-interpreted validation sample. This work builds great expectations for applications in other areas with contrasted climate, topography and land cover.