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  • Hatfield-4302: Floodplain mapping and understanding flood extent and flood frequency.


 Floodplain mapping and understanding flood extent and flood frequency

Challenge ID:



Onshore: Hatfield


Floodplain mapping and understanding flood extent and flood frequency


ON 4.3: Environmental monitoring - Natural Hazard Risk Analysis

Consortium Lead:


Interviewed Company:



ON.REG.00 - Generic onshore

Challenge Description

What is not possible / not adequately addressed at present?

Characterisation of floodplains, flooding patterns and flood hazard is necessary to avoid or mitigate construction and operating risks. Historical flood frequency and extent needs to be incorporated. It can be challenging to obtain elevation data or observe flooding using satellite imagery in forested areas.

What effect does this challenge have on operations?

Exploration and development in floodplains presents environmental, health and safety risks. Floods can cause significant damage to infrastructure with associated economic impacts.

Thematic information requirements:

Terrain information

Land use

Land cover

Distribution and status of infrastructure

Distribution and status of assets

Water quantity

Topographic information

What do you currently do to address this challenge? 

How is this challenge conventionally addressed?

Use of aerial photos, optical imagery, and LiDAR to map floodplains and model water extent in lowland areas.  Some use of radar imagery to map observed flood extent. Vegetation can be mapped to define recent active channels in drier areas to antcipate areas that may be influenced by flash flood or freshet events.

What kind of solutions do you envisage could address this challenge?

Cost-effective floodplain mapping, combining elevation data and optical images. Analysis of historical floods. Accurate delineation of flooded area under forest canopy.

What is your view on the capability of technology to meet this need?

Are you currently using EO tech? If not, why not?

Lack of available historical / archive images and there are challenges to map flooding that occurs below the canopy. Hydrological modelling and use of elevation data remains the most reliable approach.

Challenge Classification

Impact on Lifecycle (0=none, 4=high):

Climate / Topography / Urgency:



Climate class:

Generic climate



Topographic class:

Not specific



Seasonal variations:

Warmer weather focus



Impact area:

Health and Safety



Technology urgency:

3 - Immediately (0-2 years)

Challenge Information Requirements

Update frequency:


Data currently used:

Local knowledge, field data (including flow monitoring data), optical imagery, radar imagery

Spatial resolution:


Thematic accuracy:

Not specific

Required formats:

Not specific

Timeliness (Vintage):

Reference data

Geographic extents:

Basin, License

Existing standards:



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