Learning from the 2018 Western Japan heavy rains to detect floods during the 2019 Hagibis Typhoon

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Applications of machine learning on remote sensing data appear to be endless. Its use in damage identification for early response in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster has a specific issue. The collection of training data right after a disaster is costly, time-consuming, and many times impossible. This study analyzes a possible solution to the referred issue: the collection of training data from past disaster events to calibrate a discriminant function. Then the identification of affected areas in a current disaster can be performed in near real-time. The performance of a supervised machine learning classifier to learn from training data collected from the 2018 heavy rainfall at Okayama Prefecture, Japan, and to identify floods due to the typhoon Hagibis on 12 October 2019 at eastern Japan is reported in this paper. The results show a moderate agreement with flood maps provided by local governments and public institutions, and support the assumption that previous disaster information can be used to identify a current disaster in near-real time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2244
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 1


  • Flood mapping
  • Machine learning
  • Sentinel-1 SAR data
  • Training data


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