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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 16, issue 4 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 1011-1018, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-1011-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 25 Apr 2016

Research article | 25 Apr 2016

Evaluating flood potential with GRACE in the United States

Tatiana Molodtsova1,*, Sergey Molodtsov1,*, Andrei Kirilenko2, Xiaodong Zhang3, and Jeffrey VanLooy3 Tatiana Molodtsova et al.
  • 1Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
  • 2University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  • 3University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA
  • *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Reager and Famiglietti (2009) proposed an index, Reager's Flood Potential Index (RFPI), for early large-scale flood risk monitoring using the Terrestrial Water Storage Anomaly (TWSA) product derived from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). We evaluated the efficacy of the RFPI for flood risk assessment over the continental USA using multi-year flood observation data from 2003 to 2012 by the US Geological Survey and Dartmouth Flood Observatory. In general, we found a good agreement between the RFPI flood risks and the observed floods on regional and even local scales. RFPI demonstrated skill in predicting the large-area, long-duration floods, especially during the summer season.

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Short summary
One of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) products, the Terrestrial Water Storage Anomaly (TWSA), was used for assessing large-scale flood risk. The efficacy of the methodology was evaluated over the continental USA. The method exhibits higher skill in predicting the large-area, long-duration floods, especially during the summer season.
One of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) products, the Terrestrial Water...
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