SOMERSET UNDER WATER
Satellite imagery helps to map flood extent
The wettest winter ever recorded in the UK created floods. In Somerset alone, the flooding of 7,800 homes displaced thousands of families. In terms of costs, insurance claims reached about £450M, uninsured costs were £130M and central government costs reached £540M, with longer term costs the debate. Earthimages was used to investigate the coverage from both optical data and radar data. The radar satellite images of floods was very useful. The unusually high rainfall is associated with heavy cloud cover, which in turn limits the use of optical imagery.
Above: wide coverage SAR image of the Somerset levels floods (Tandem-X image from Airbus).
Below: detailed optical satellite images of the Somerset levels floods (Quickbird image from DigitalGlobe).