This research assesses possible methods for extending the Streamflow Prediction Tool from a streamflow forecasting model to a flood extent forecasting model. This new flood extent forecasting model would allow valuable and easy to understand information be disseminated in a timely manner for flood preparation and flood response. The Height Above Nearest Drainage (HAND) method and AutoRoute method were considered for flood extent models but the HAND was the better option for its simple and quick computation as well as its viability on a global scale. Due to the importance of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) in these flood extent models, an analysis was performed on the sensitivity and response of different DEMs with the HAND method. The HAND method with the differing DEMs was also analyzed using the Streamflow Prediction Tool for model boundary conditions against Sentinel-1 SAR generated flood extent images from August 24, 2017. The MERIT DEM performed the best in this analysis and is recommended for future research in creating a global forecasting flood extent model. The HAND method covered about 25% of the generated flood extent images and more complex flood extent models may need to be considered in areas where HAND underperforms. Finally, a proof of concept flood extent model was created and deployed as a web application for easy accessibility and distribution of flood information. Additional research to consider is flood impact based on affected population or an economic analysis, as well as optimizing model parameters for increased accuracy and performance. Additional research is also needed for HAND DEM analysis in other parts of the world.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Hydrology, Flood, Inundation, HAND, DEM