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Assimilation of High Resolution Elevation Data For Continental Scale Flood Inundation Mapping Derived from Height Above Nearest Drainage
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  • Fernando Aristizabal,
  • Fernando Salas,
  • Jasmeet Judge,
  • Taher Chegini
Fernando Aristizabal
Office of Water Prediction, NWS/NOAA

Corresponding Author:fernandoa@ufl.edu

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Fernando Salas
NOAA/NWS Office of Water Prediction
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Jasmeet Judge
Center for Remote Sensing, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida
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Taher Chegini
University of Houston
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The National Water Model (NWM) currently requires the post-processing of forecast discharges to produce forecast flood inundation maps (FIM) that support the National Weather Service’s mission of protecting life and property. Height Above Nearest Drainage (HAND) is a means of detrending digital elevation models (DEM) by normalizing elevations to the nearest, relevant drainage line (creeks, rivers, etc). It’s worthy of producing high-resolution FIMs at large spatial scales and frequent time steps using reach-averaged synthetic rating curves. Current operational capabilities support 10 meter (1/3 arc-second) spatial resolution DEMs sourced from the National Elevation Dataset (NED). The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) managed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) publishes a variety of gridded elevation datasets at 1 m, 3 m (1/3 arc-second), 5 m, and 10 m (1/9 arc-second) among others. While the 1/3 arc-second product provides seamless coverage across CONUS, the remaining products lack full spatial support with respect to that of the NWM. However, 3DEP is actively publishing additional data with national coverage scheduled for 2023. We seek to investigate the efficacy of assimilating higher resolution 1 m and 3 m (1/3 arc-second) data derived from light detection and ranging sensors (Lidar). These Lidar derived datasets not only represent higher horizontal resolution but also have improved vertical accuracy when compared to the NED. We seek to utilize Py3DEP from the HyRiver ecosystem of tools to retrieve 3DEP data. HAND derived FIMs will be evaluated against high-fidelity HEC-RAS 1D inundation maps for 100 year and 500 year events. Possible skill enhancements can be observed from having terrain information that better agrees with those of the benchmark HEC-RAS datasets. Lidar terrain data can better resolve fine scale features that flood inundation extents may be very sensitive to. Additionally, we would investigate mosaicing techniques to deal with processing units (hydrologic unit codes) of heterogeneous data availability. This can involve resampling DEM’s to create seamless rasters within units. Lastly, we can investigate the effect of Lidar data on synthetic rating curves as well as consider the latest hydro-conditioning techniques from GeoFlood for stream line delineation on Lidar data.