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Integrated remote sensing imagery and two-dimensional hydraulic modeling approach for impact evaluation of flood on crop yields

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journal contribution
posted on 24.09.2018, 10:30 by Huili Chen, Zhongyao Liang, Yong Liu, Qiuhua LiangQiuhua Liang, Shuguang Xie
The projected frequent occurrences of extreme flood events will cause significant losses to crops and will threaten food security. To reduce the potential risk and provide support for agricultural flood management, prevention, and mitigation, it is important to account for flood damage to crop production and to understand the relationship between flood characteristics and crop losses. A quantitative and effective evaluation tool is therefore essential to explore what and how flood characteristics will affect the associated crop loss, based on accurately understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of flood evolution and crop growth. Current evaluation methods are generally integrally or qualitatively based on statistic data or ex-post survey with less diagnosis into the process and dynamics of historical flood events. Therefore, a quantitative and spatial evaluation framework is presented in this study that integrates remote sensing imagery and hydraulic model simulation to facilitate the identification of historical flood characteristics that influence crop losses. Remote sensing imagery can capture the spatial variation of crop yields and yield losses from floods on a grid scale over large areas; however, it is incapable of providing spatial information regarding flood progress. Two-dimensional hydraulic model can simulate the dynamics of surface runoff and accomplish spatial and temporal quantification of flood characteristics on a grid scale over watersheds, i.e., flow velocity and flood duration. The methodological framework developed herein includes the following: (a) Vegetation indices for the critical period of crop growth from mid-high temporal and spatial remote sensing imagery in association with agricultural statistics data were used to develop empirical models to monitor the crop yield and evaluate yield losses from flood; (b) The two-dimensional hydraulic model coupled with the SCS-CN hydrologic model was employed to simulate the flood evolution process, with the SCS-CN model as a rainfall-runoff generator and the two-dimensional hydraulic model implementing the routing scheme for surface runoff; and (c) The spatial combination between crop yield losses and flood dynamics on a grid scale can be used to investigate the relationship between the intensity of flood characteristics and associated loss extent. The modeling framework was applied for a 50-year return period flood that occurred in Jilin province, Northeast China, which caused large agricultural losses in August, 2013. The modeling results indicated that (a) the flow velocity was the most influential factor that caused spring corn, rice and soybean yield losses from extreme storm event in the mountainous regions; (b) the power function archived the best results that fit the velocity-loss relationship for mountainous areas; and (c) integrated remote sensing imagery and two-dimensional hydraulic modeling approach are helpful for evaluating the influence of historical flood event on crop production and investigating the relationship between flood characteristics and crop yield losses.


This paper was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (2015CB458900)



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Journal of Hydrology




262 - 275


CHEN, H. ... et al., 2017. Integrated remote sensing imagery and two-dimensional hydraulic modeling approach for impact evaluation of flood on crop yields. Journal of Hydrology, 553, pp. 262-275.


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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Hydrology and the definitive published version is available at