Flood Inundation Mapping Tool

Flood Inundation Mapping Tool

The Flood Inundation Mapping Tool is a cloud-based system that maps flood areas in Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Northeast India. The tool uses Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data to capture flood events, making flood information available within hours after data acquisition and providing near real-time information on flood water extent and flood depth.

Because the SAR data can penetrate clouds, the system is useful for monsoon-dominated areas that are mostly covered by clouds. The system uses Height Above the Nearest Drainage (HAND) data derived from the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to estimate flood depth of an area. The flood extent and depth information is available every 8–12 days with a horizontal resolution of 30 m and vertical resolution of 1 m.


This tool is a product of collaboration between ICIMOD’s SERVIR-HKH and the NASA SERVIR Applied Sciences Team (AST) the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Alaska Satellite Facility hosted at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is the main data centre for SAR data, with an archive of more than 13 petabytes of SAR data acquired by air- and space-borne radar sensors over a time span of more than 40 years.

The app is currently under development and can be accessed here.