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A new perspective of assessing flood impact with daily nighttime light remote sensing data
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  • Yang HU,
  • Dai Yamazaki,
  • Xudong Zhou,
  • Gang Zhao
Yang HU
The University of Tokyo

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Dai Yamazaki
University of Tokyo
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Xudong Zhou
The University of Tokyo
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Gang Zhao
The University of Tokyo
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Flooding leads to disastrous impacts on human society and activities worldwide, including damage to physical assets and interruptions to daily activities. However, evaluation for such impacts remains challenging, particularly beyond inundation zones, due to the difficulties in monitoring human activities on a global scale. Nighttime light (NTL) remote sensing data provides a unique perspective for human activities on a large scale, reflecting variations in light intensity caused by flood impact. Here we show the possibility of using a high-quality NTL dataset to assess flood impact on human society and activities. Indices providing impact severity and duration were generated with NTL as proxies for flood impact on pixel scale. Results show the consistency of NTL-derived and reported impact duration for five selected cases, which confirms the reliability of NTL flood impact. A large portion (> 96%) of NTL-based affected areas did not overlap with the satellite-based inundation area for 99 cases in 2013, indicating the unique value of NTL in assessing flood impact beyond inundation. The NTL flood impact indices were mapped at 15 arc-second spatial resolution for 876 events on a global scale from 2013 to 2021. Then, administrative-level characteristics of NTL flood impact were compared at a global scale. It was found that lower developed regions exhibit higher vulnerability and challenge in recovery, and are more likely to experience extremely serious and long-lasting impacts compared to higher developed areasverall, using NTL data, in addition to conventional inundation-based methods, offers an innovative perspective on flood impact evaluation.
02 Apr 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
16 Apr 2024Published in ESS Open Archive