Latest News and Updates

November 13, 2017
ESA Sentinel-1 Imagery
Acquired Nov. 11. 2017 Acquired Nov, 11 2017 NASA color coded SAR based flood detection maps reveal extensive flooding in areas of Vietnam. The SAR data used in analysis are Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA. In the figures, the blue tones represent flooding due to Typhoon Damrey while the black color represents water covered areas before the typhoon. Other colors indicate mostly land.  


November 13, 2017
Google map image with Inundation layer.
Inundation Layer from Project Mekong App as of 11/10/2017. Current inundation layer from the Project Mekong App as of 11/10/2017. Red indicates areas with detected flooding. The application uses LANCE MODIS imagery (collected today, 11/10/2017) and applies a dynamic surface water classifier based on statistical training and thresholding of NDVI values. The method is outlined in more detail in Ahamed and Bolten, 2017 (


November 13, 2017
Total rainfall map using IMERG model
NASA IMERG model generated from October 31 to November 6, 2017 data.  NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals data (IMERG) estimates precipitation from a combination of space-borne passive microwave sensors. This image shows IMERG rainfall estimates over Southeast Asia during the period from October 31 to November 6, 2017. IMERG estimated that more than 500 mm (19.7 inches) of rain was common in this part of south central Vietnam.


November 13, 2017
Topo relief map with flood modelling layer overlay.
Topographic relief map showing estimated flood extent. Darthmouth Flood Observatory of University of Colorado estimated maximum flood extent on November 7th, 2017 using NASA MODIS and Copernicus Sentinel 1 satelite data, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). In the figure, the light gray denotes all previously-mapped flooding, and red is the active flooding. Blue shows the reference water extent.                                                                              


October 27, 2017
PolSAR Mosaic Image
UAVSAR aboard the NASA502 aircraft imaged Napa County, California on October 16 to observe areas affected by several wildfires that started on October 8 and burned thousands of buildings as well as vineyards and forests. PolSAR mosaick of HH, HV, VV polarization overlay images. The fire perimeters (red) are from the USGS Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination website as of October 17.   The fires from north to south are: Pocket, Tubbs, Nunn, and Atlas respectively.. Flight line ID: SanAnd_05512 Close-up view of Atlas fire before (2017.3.3) and after the fire (2017.10.16) – after image shows fire scars (purple) throughout the area south of Atlas.


October 25, 2017
NASA's Terra Satellite Image
As firefighters continue to work toward full containment of the rash of wildfires burning in Northern California. This image from NASA's Terra Satellite acquired on Oct. 21, 2017, shows the growing fire scar on the landscape. As firefighters continue to work toward full containment of the rash of wildfires burning in Northern California, a new image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite shows the growing fire scar on the landscape. In this ASTER image, acquired Oct. 21, 2017, vegetation is red, while burned areas appear dark gray. The image covers an area of 38 by 39 miles (60.5 by 63 kilometers) and is located near 38.5 degrees north, 122.4 degrees west. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.


October 19, 2017
MODIS and CATS Imagery acquired Oct 11, 2017
Over a dozen wildfires have been burning since Oct. 08, 2017 in Northern California, killing 31 people, burning 2220,000+ acres and destroying over 3,500 homes. Smoke has blanketed the San Francisco Bay area, as shown in MODIS and CATS imagery from Oct. 11, 2017 (red circle). The smoke plume extends as high as 3-4 km according to the CATS backscatter and has resulted in the worst air quality ever recorded in many parts of the Bay Area.     


October 18, 2017
EOSDIS Worldview Image showing smoke plums
CALIPSO Ground Track on 10/13/2017           Vertical profiles of the near-field smoke plumes from the fires burning in California on October 13th, 2017.  These CALIOP data (space-based lidar) can be used for Air Quality, Hazardous plume location, and for the potential initialization of transport models.   CALIOP Vertical Feature Mask and Subtype  At this time, the smoke is not hovering near the ground.


October 17, 2017
This is a Damage Proxy Map depicting areas in Northern California
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas in Northern California that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of wildfires. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (Sep. 27, 2017 7PM) and after (Oct. 9, 2017 7PM, both Pacific Time) the onset of the fires.   The map covers an area of 250 by 170 kilometers, shown by the large red polygon. Each pixel measures about 30 meters across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing to optical satellite imagery by the DigitalGlobe. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL under a contract with NASA.   For more information about ARIA, visit:


October 13, 2017
Landsat image of wildfires acquired October 11, 2017
Acquired October 11, 2017 Acquired October 11, 2017 Devastating wildfires have burned through California’s wine country since October 8, 2017, taking dozens of lives and leaving thousands of people homeless. Even communities distant from the fires have been plagued by poor air quality, as the smoke plumes have darkened skies and canceled school and other activities across the region.