Earth  ID: 30895

Surface Flooding from Hurricane Harvey

A new series of images generated with data from NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite illustrates the surface flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey from before its initial landfall through August 27, 2017. The SMAP observations detect the proportion of the ground covered by surface water within the satellite's field of view. The sequence of images depicts successive satellite orbital swath observations showing the surface water conditions on August 22, before Harvey's landfall (left), and then on August 27, two days after landfall (middle). The resulting increase in surface flooding from record rainfall over the three-day period, shown at right, depicts regionally heavy flooding around the Houston metropolitan area. The hardest hit areas (blue and purple shades) cover more than 23,000 square miles (about 59,600 square kilometers) and indicate a more than 1,000-fold increase in surface water cover from rainfall-driven flooding. SMAP's low-frequency (L-band) microwave radiometer features enhanced capabilities for detecting surface water changes in nearly all weather conditions and under low-to-moderate vegetation cover. The satellite provides global coverage with one- to three-day repeat sampling, which is well suited for monitoring dynamic inland waters around the world.

For More Information


Marit Jentoft-Nilsen: Technical Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/University of Montana

Short URL to share this page:

Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP)

Data Used:
SMAP/Radiometer/Fractional Water also referred to as: SMAP_FW
NASA/University of Montana
Global fractional open water cover dynamics derived from SMAP, Version T
University of Montana
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Surface Water
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Surface Water >> Floods
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Earth Science Focus Areas >> Weather and Atmospheric Dynamics

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version