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Flood Monitoring using satellite data, June 2020

on 25 June 2020

The Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) developed a situation map for a flooded area in Timiș County, based on satellite imagery.

The heavy rainfall recorded during June 2020 in West Romania led to the flooding of many areas from the Timiș county: Timișoara, Lugoj, Făget, Petrovaselo, Criciova and Fârdea.

In this context, it becomes important to be able to monitor the affected areas, using satellite data, allowing for a broader view and for accurately identifying the areas that are in danger.

A flood monitoring map was developed by ROSA after the National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management issued for the interval of 22-26.06.2020 orange code for floods, downstream of Șag hydrological station.

The map shows the flood delineation downstream of Șag, Timiș County. The flood map was created using Copernicus Sentinel-1 data, acquired on 22 june 2020.

Image credit: ROSA

2020 06 Harta inundatii TM Image A


The flood formed in the upper basin of the Prut River, especially in Ukraine, exceeded the Danger Level —the most severe of the three possible warning levels. On Ukrainian territory, at Cernăuți, the water levels were above those from the floods in 2010 and only 1.3m under the one from 2008 (historically, the worst flood).

At the Oroftiana hydrometric station from Botoșani, the point where Prut enters the country, the Danger Level was exceeded on 22 June 2020. The maximum level was reached on 25 June 2020, at 1.8 m above the danger level. It is currently declining.

At the Rădăuți-Prut hydrometric station, the danger level was exceeded starting with 24 June 2020. On 25 June 2020, the flow at this station, located upstream of the entrance of the Prut River in the Stânca-Costești accumulation, was 2265 m3/s. A maximum flow of 2990 m3/s and a maximum level 2,8 m above the hazard level were expected on 26 June 2020, from 11-12.

ROSA forecasts a flood in which the maximum flow will be higher than the one of the most severe recent floods, in July 2010. At that date, the value of the flow reached 2310 m3 /s and the river flooded 36 km2 of land. The large flows produced above the Stânca-Costești accumulation can determine the discharge of large volumes of water at a level located downstream of the river, generating floods in the accumulation area.

However, ROSA estimates that the damage will most likely be less severe, given that in 2010 the flood lasted 20 days and had an extremely high volume.

These maps are made based on Earth Observation data, obtained by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission.

EMSR445 AEM 1000000 r4 v1

EMSR445 AOI01 DEL PRODUCT 60000 RTP02 r1 v1

EMSR445 AOI01 DEL PRODUCT 60000 RTP03 r1 v1

EMSR445 AOI01 DEL PRODUCT 125000 RTP01 r1 v1

EMSR445 AOI02 DEL PRODUCT 145000 RTP01 r1 v1

Grafic1 Grafic2

                  The level evolution at the hydrometric stations Oroftiana and Rădăuți-Prut on the Prut river