NASA's ARIA Damage Proxy Map Shows Devastating Damage From Super Typhoon Yutu

October 30, 2018

NASA's ARIA Damage Proxy Map Shows Devastating Damage From Super Typhoon Yutu

ARIA DPM Imagery of Northern Mariana Islands Devastated by Super Typhoon Yutu

The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Northern Mariana Islands that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Super Typhoon Yutu. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The pre-event images were taken before (October 4, 2017 and October 16, 2017) and the post-event image was acquired 4 days after the typhoon's landfall (October 28, 2018).


The map covers an area of 95 miles x 57 miles (153 km x 91 km), indicated with the big red polygon. Each pixel measures about 33 yards x 33 yards (30 m x 30 m). 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 and flooded areas. For example, the scattered single colored pixels over vegetated areas may be false positives, and the lack of colored pixels over vegetated areas does not necessarily mean no damage.


Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2018), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL funded by NASA. 


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