Progression of a River Flooding Event

Progression of a Missouri River Flooding Event

ES 775 Advanced Image Processing

Jack Faris

May 2017

Iatan Power Plant during the 2011 flood. Wikimedia Commons

Introduction

In the summer of 2011, the Missouri River spilled over its banks in several places, causing immense damages. One of these places was just west of Rushville, Missouri. This area was inundated with floodwater for nearly four and a half months, from June 7, 2011 to Late September 2011. This report shows the change from above, in a timelapse created with the Idrisi Selva software.

Aerial photo over the floodplain. Kenny Smith, 2003. Used with Permission.

This satellite image shows the cities in the study area and should provide general familiarity for explaining the images below. This image was taken on October 11, 2016. It could also be used as a comparison as a normal year.(Google Maps)

This image, taken from the July 9, 2011 composite below, shows the portion of the levee at Rushville, MO that was overtopped first, cicled in red that caused the flooding event.

Flood Timeline

All of the following imagery was acquired through USGS's GloVis Next website, extracted, and manipulated through Idrisi Selva to create natural-color and false-color near-infrared composite images.

Landsat natural-color composite satellite image, edited through Idrisi Selva, of the affected area taken one day before the levee break at Rushville, MO. Image is dated June 7, 2011. Many of the agricultural fields have small plants or are fallow at this time, as it is early in the growing season. Note that the fields outside of the flooded area will grow and develop over the course of the next few months. (Image source: USGS)

Landsat natural-color composite satellite image, edited through Idrisi Selva, of the affected area taken a month after the levee breakage. The entire area of the river bottoms has been inundated by this time, affecting the buildings, agriculture, and transportation for the area. (Image source: USGS)

Landsat natural-color composite satellite image, edited through Idrisi Selva, of the affected area dated September 11, 2011. By this time, the river level has dropped back to near normal, and the floodplain has begun draining out. (Image source: USGS)

Landsat natural-color composite satellite image, edited through Idrisi Selva, of the resulting drainage of the floodplain dated September 26, 2011. By this time, the entire flooding event is virtually over, and the cleanup begins by the second week of October.(Image source: USGS)

Landsat composite images were uploaded to an online gif creation website,
which shows a timeline of the flooding event from the imagery available.

Near Infrared Imagery Comparison

Following are false-color composites of the area before and after the flood event, showing natural bands one and two in blue and green respectively, with near infrared band four in red. Landsat data acquired from USGS.

Notice in the first (before) image that the bluish area has quite a bit of red reflectance from the plant life that is present in the timbers and agricultural fields there, and how it compares to the second (after) image, wherein all the vegetation has been killed and will slowly be replaced; with the exception of the lake algaes, which returned relatively quickly. There is also an obvious line at Rushville in the second image wherein the agricultural fields to the northeast are fully productive and a deep red, which would be what the entirety of the floodplain would look like at this time of the year, if not for the floodwater.

References

"File:Iatan Power Plant 2011.jpg." Wikimedia Commons. April 2, 2017. Accessed April 25, 2017. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Iatan_Power_Plant_2011.jpg.

Google Earth, 2016, Google Earth, https://earth.google.com/web/@39.54306611,-95.0722621,243.23686984a,28486.21451753d,35y,0h,0t,0r (accessed April 2017).

Missouri River Flood 2011 on Make a GIF, 2017, MakeAGif, http://makeagif.com/gif/missouri-river-flood-2011-IRL98V (accessed April 2017).

Smith, K., 2003, Aerial Photograph of Missouri Riverbottoms.

U.S.G.S. GloVis Next: GloVis Next, http://glovis.usgs.gov/next/ (accessed April 2017).