Use of satellite images to map flood extension around the city of Saint Louis in the Senegal River Estuary

15 August 2013

The traditional method of landsat satellite data combination and the gathering of important information made it possible to produce a Geographical Information System to monitor floods in the lower estuary of the Senegal River valley (Sandholt,I., Fog, B. & Fensholt, R., 2001). This technical approach is a powerful tool for combining important information for a better comprehension of the floods and the characterization of surface qualities on the estuary. By way of a multi-temporal approach, the study team established the qualitative and quantitative impact of floods on the various geographical objects, a detailed cartography of the land use and the surfaces flooded in 1998 and 1999. The study undertaken in Saint Louis made it possible to consider surfaces flooded in 1999, and to understand the extent of these floods compared to those of 1998. The constitution of a tool of decision-making aid makes it possible to have information relating to the extent of the flood, the scope of flooded surfaces and to detect the more exposed zones in order to establish a hierarchical map according to the percentage of exposure to the risk of the geographical objects affected by the floods (populations), road infrastructures and tracks, medical and social infrastructures and perimeters of cultures (agriculture).