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Fluvial landscapes and the availability of water are of paramount importance for human safety and socioeconomic growth. Hydrologists know that identifying the boundaries of floodplains is often the first crucial step for any urban development or environmental protection plan.
Floodplain zoning is usually performed using complex hydrodynamic models, but modeling results can vary widely across methods and until now there has been no available unifying framework for global floodplain mapping.
Availability - Technologies - Scientists - Access - High-resolution
With the increased availability of remote sensing technologies, however, scientists now have access to high-resolution datasets on Earth's surface properties at the global scale.
As a result, an international team of scientists, including ASU professor and hydrologist Enrique Vivoni of the School of Earth and Space Exploration, has published the first comprehensive high resolution map of Earth's floodplains in the Nature journal Scientific Data.
Progress - Sensing - Capacity - Earth - Vivoni
"Progress made in remote sensing has truly revolutionized our capacity to monitor the Earth," says Vivoni, who also holds a joint appointment at ASU's School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. "Since floodplains are so important to population centers, economic activities and transportation, it is indeed critical to be able to identify their extents. With this new view of Earth's floodplains, we can now characterize the human footprint on these globally-significant environments."
The international research project team, which includes ASU's Vivoni, was led by hydrologist Fernando Nardi of the Water Resources Research and Documentation Centre of the University for Foreigners in Perugia (Italy). Additional hydrologists on the team include Antonio Annis also of the University for Foreigners, Salvatore Grimaldi...
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