Role of Spatial Information in Response to Queensland's Natural Disasters


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DNRM’s Spatial Information Group (SIG) played a lead role in response to the recent Queensland natural disasters through the coordination and provision of aerial imagery, flood mapping and on-line access to critical spatial information. This data has been used by many key agencies including Emergency Management Queensland, Australian Defence Force, Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Flood Commission of Inquiry, Bureau of Meteorology, local, state and federal agencies, non-government organisations, the Insurance Council of Australia as well as the public. This presentation will explain the critical role spatial information played in the response to the recent disasters in Queensland and how we plan to deploy it in future events. These examples highlight the importance and value an understanding of Geography has to effective communication and decision-making by both providers and consumers of geographic information.

Presented by Steve Jacoby, General Manager, Spatial Information, Department of Natural Resources and Mines (QLD)

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Role of Spatial Information in Response to Queensland's Natural Disasters

  1. 1. Department of Natural Resources & Mines Geography in the 21st Century Role of Spatial Information in Response to Queensland’s Natural DisastersSteve JacobyGeneral-Manager Spatial Information, DNRMChair Queensland Spatial Information
  2. 2. Contents• Role of Spatial Information (Qld Floods & Cyclone Yasi) – Aerial photography – Satellite imagery – Recording of flood lines – Before & After mapping• How this information was used – Queensland Reconstruction Authority – Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund – Commission of Inquiry• Work completed in the last year• Challenges & future work• Resource list
  3. 3. Spatial Information Group - DNRM• - surveying infrastructure• - cadastral information• - topographic information• - imagery• - mapping products and services• - GIS modelling & analysis
  4. 4. Area of Queensland is 1.734M km2 • Larger than Alaska • 2.5x size of Texas • 7x size of Great Britain • 42x size of The Netherlands Population of Queensland is approx 4.6M2,100 km Population density is approx(1,300 mi) 2.5 people per km2 65% of Queenslanders live in South East Queensland ... 1,550 km 16th Libya (960 mi) 17th Queensland 18th Iran • Brisbane ...
  5. 5. Queensland Floods & Cyclones Summary – Summer 10 / 11• Largest natural disaster in Queensland’s history• Flooding covered 70% of the State• 35 people dead, 3 remain missing Dec 2010 Rainfall• 136,000 residential properties affected 800mm 600mm• 148,000 buildings damaged 400mm 300mm• 9,170 km State owned roads damaged 200mm• 4,787 km rail damaged 100mm• 480,000 residents lost power• 126,688 insurance claims• $6.8B damages• $9B lost productivity• Over $277M dispersed from the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal
  6. 6. Queensland floods – prelude...• El Nino drought had gripped the Country since 2000• Water storages in Wivenhoe reached 15% in August 2007• But by early 2010, La Nina had arrived in force• Wivenhoe achieved 95% (storage compartment) in March 2010• September races in Birdsville were cancelled (first time in 128yrs)• Central and Western districts were saturated• By December 10, four people had died in flood waters in the State• Brisbane was experiencing its wettest December on record Historic water levels in Lake Wivenhoe (seqwater) 126% - October 2010 95% - March 2010 15% - August 2007
  7. 7. Queensland floods – last week in December• Tropical Cyclone Tasha (Cat 1) crossed the coast just south of Cairns on Christmas Day – heading south• 160 people from Dalby & 50 people from Chinchilla evacuated (27th & 28th Dec)• Theodore becomes the first town to be fully evacuated in Queensland’s history on the 29th December• 400 people forced to leave their homes in Bundaberg & 130 from Condamine (30th Dec)• 1,000 homes affected in Emerald by the 31st December DNRM (Spatial Information) were called in on 27th December to assist Red Cross with mapping support for their deployment
  8. 8. Flood Affected Towns31 December, 2010
  9. 9. Queensland floods – Spatial Information Group• By 1 Jan: – Record levels were being forecast by Bureau of Meteorology in many centres – We began planning for acquisition of aerial photography to record the peak flood event in the major centres (if possible)• One of our existing R&D projects began supplying Satellite Radar data through to EMQ – Queensland (led by DNRM) is a participant in the Cooperative Research Centre – Spatial Information – EMQ began receiving images via UNSW from an Italian radar satellite – Radar can operate at night and independent of cloud – Satellites can be tasked quickly and data delivered within hours…
  10. 10. 1st Jan Cosmo SkymedRadar satellite imageryUNSW / CRC Spatial Information(Record peak 16.05m 0600 31st Dec)
  11. 11. Cosmo Skymed 1st JanRadar satellite imageryoverlaid with aerial photography
  12. 12. Data acquisition program (week 1)Sun 2nd ~ Sat 8th January• Towns expected to peak at record levels included: – Fitzroy – Rockhampton (5th) – Condamine-Balonne – Surat (4th), St George (8th+), Dirranbandi & Hebel – Moonie – Thallon (tba) – Weir – Talwood (tba)• DNRM set about acquiring aerial photography over these towns to coincide with expected record flood peaks – Weather permitting!• Discovered that Rockhampton Council had arranged aerial photography for the city & surrounds as had Banana Shire• Discovered contractors had acquired Emerald (31st) on ‘spec’• Organised a tender from DNRM’s panel for the other 6 towns – Tendered and let same day (Tue 4th) – flying commenced on Wed 5th
  13. 13. Aerial Photography• Queensland’s flying season is not December & January! – Prefer clear, dry conditions (April – September)• Cloud is the major factor. Aircraft can get under cloud (down to 500m) but end up acquiring significantly more data at greater cost • Costs average between $80 - $150 per km2 • High resolution data is around 15cm but can be as low as 3cm pixels • ‘Fast Mosaic’ usually delivered in 2 days • Final imagery in 7 days+ • Not suited to Disaster Response due to the time lag in getting the data
  14. 14. Timely Delivery of Information Critical to have information in the first few minutes / hours for Response: ~ flash flood ~ wildfire ~ search & rescue ~ tsunami ~ infrastructure failure ~ terrorist attack
  15. 15. International Charter – Space & Major Disasters• Made aware of this International Agreement• First time used in Australia - Imagery is provided on a ‘best endeavours’ basis by operators (can’t task the satellites)• Commenced 4th Jan – Over 120 images / 12 satellite sensors Interesting more than useful – good research opportunities
  16. 16. Landsat54th JanuaryBurdekin River
  17. 17. GeoeyeOptical satellite6th JanuaryRockhampton
  18. 18. 7th JanAster SatelliteRockhampton
  19. 19. Landsat5 MosaicCondamine – Balonne River6th January DMCii Cubbie Station 14th January
  20. 20. Key maps are available for allimagery products collected byDNRM as well as those under theCharter (120+).Thumbnails (as above) & rawdigital data held by DNRM.
  21. 21. ‘After’ map usually available‘Before’ map prepared from within a week of flyingQueensland Aerial Imagery Library – fast mosaic within 2 days
  22. 22. …Flash floods – Toowoomba & Lockyer Valley (Mon 10 Jan)
  23. 23. Toowoomba & Lockyer Valley flash floods (Mon 10th Jan) • Provision of DEM and aerial photography services (before & after) - inquests • Engaged ADF for aerial photography support (1 Topo Sq) • Photo-mosaic base mapping – multiple local governments
  24. 24. Post flood Pre flood
  25. 25. Post flood Pre flood
  26. 26. Ipswich & Brisbane flood (12th & 13th Jan)• Two day’s advance notice• Expected to be less than 1974• Demand for historic flood mapping data (from 1974)• DEM and contour information• Aerial photography acquisition 1975• Flood line mapping – Record of the eventHistoric water levels in Lake Wivenhoe (seqwater)
  27. 27. Brisbane River• Peaked at 4.46m at 3:30am on Thursday 13th January 2011 (5.45m in 1974)• Flow of 9,400 cumecs (cubic metres per second) at the City Gauge
  28. 28. Flood Line Mapping • Was completed for Brisbane & Ipswich • 2D photo- interpretation • Imagery acquired 13th & 14th Jan Debris lines • Aided by Lidar & 0.25m contours • Important record of actual water line – not a modelled level from gauge readings or discrete observations
  29. 29. Preliminary FloodFlood Extent – Brisbane CBD Preliminary Line Line Extent – Newfarm Fairfield
  30. 30. BCC line DNRM line
  31. 31. DNRM line BCC lineAmended line?
  32. 32. BCC line DNRM lineAmended line?
  33. 33. Brisbane & Ipswich – 2011 flood extents
  34. 34. Tropical Cyclone YasiCrossed the coast near Mission Beach at approx 12:30am on 3 Feb, 2011 (BoM)
  35. 35. LegendBoM TC Yasi Very Destructive Winds (Greater than 165 km/hr)BoM TC Yasi Destructive Winds (125-164 km/hr)BoM TC Yasi Gale Force Winds (90-125 km/hr) CairnsTC Larry Intense Damage areaTC Larry Outer Damage area Almaden TC Larry Track Innisfail Mission Beach Gerogeto wn Cardwell Ingham Greenvale Townsville TC Larry TC Yasi • 20-21 Mar 2006 • 2-4 Feb 2011 • Category 4 • Category 5 • 945 hPa • 930 hPa • Gusts up to 240 km/hr • Gusts up to 290 km/hr
  36. 36. Spatial Information Program ~ TC Yasi • Natural Disasters impacted 210 towns and suburbs • 187 were flood affected AAM aircraft & crew • 23 affected by TC Yasi • Again aerial photography was critical • Before & After maps in towns • Weather more challenging...Flying conditions after TC Yasi Hinchinbrooke Is.
  37. 37. Port Hinchinbrook after TC Yasi
  38. 38. Port Hinchinbrook pre TC Y
  39. 39. Importance of the Flood Lines and Damage Extents• Spatial Imagery & the resultant Flood Lines have become critical products and a key record of these events – Insurance processing – Metrics for affected properties, businesses, infrastructure, etc – Planning and reconstruction – Tax concessions – Commission of Inquiry (critical record) – Relief claims
  40. 40. Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal• Amended assessment process – ‘water over floor-boards’• Geocoded all applications and checked them against flood lines• 21,400 applications / 7 day operation• Joint effort with Premiers, Communities and Centrelink
  41. 41. Goodna 2011 – Claims for PDRA assistance
  42. 42. • Ability to ‘layer’ in flood lines into a 3D model?• Requires high resolution data (Lidar) & rigorous survey / image capture techniques• Can this approach be used to convey flood warnings / risk?
  43. 43. It’s all about Geography!Predictive capabilities and public understanding• Brisbane is located on a very active floodplain• Only half of the Brisbane catchment is regulated by Wivenhoe Dam• Local rainfall and concentration times (36 to 48hrs max)• Storm water drains & infrastructure• Warnings given relative to ‘1974’ or in metres at the ‘City Gauge’• Flood Flag maps (BCC) show where flooding may occur• How well does the public understand flood risk?
  44. 44. Brisbane & Ipswich – 2011 flood and Probable Maximum Flood extents
  45. 45. Produced inundation mapsfor 14 / 126 River sub-basins wherewe had satellite imagery available
  46. 46. Developed a new floodplain mapping technique 10m Contours LandSat Gauging Heights Pre-cleared Stream Orders Aerial for towns vegetation 5–9
  47. 47. State-wide mapping• Floodplains for all relevant sub- basins have been completed (115 / 126)• Floodplains cover 26.6% Queensland or 450,000 km2 and 440 towns• 8,854 map pages produced (A3 @1:50,000 scale)• Mapping was completed in 7 months - Largest mapping program of its type undertaken in Australia• Lidar coverage complete for all but 80 towns with population on the floodplain
  48. 48. St George Feb 2012• Lidar coverage available• Flood lines available from 2011• Estimated flood gradient available• Predictive inundation models generated – 13.1m previous record in 2010 – 13.5m – 14.0m – 14.5m – 15.0m• Highway shown to be cut at 13.4m• Mandatory evacuation ordered• River peaked at 13.95m
  49. 49. St George – predicted 15.0m inundation
  50. 50. St George – 2012 flood peak at 13.95m
  51. 51. Qld Floods Commission of Inquiry• Released March 2012• Final report contained 177 recommendations• State Government supports all recommendations…• Current flood studies for all urban areas• Non urban areas to be assessed and mapped for flood risk• All Councils to maintain up-to-date flood information• Flood maps and property specific flooding information intended for use by the general public should be readily interpretable• All flood mapping to be available through websites…• Clearly an important on-going role for Spatial Information to help communicate effective and timely flood risk
  52. 52. Key lessons and areas for further research1. Imagery - is required before and immediately after an event: timeliness2. Flood lines - important to have an authoritative record of major flood events - important to calibrate models - different approaches for urban vs rural3. Data Issues - having existing, current, high resolution elevation data is critical - floor levels and building construction data required - flood information (hydrologic and hydraulic models) critical4. Communication & Awareness - Mapping & 3D models that are ‘fit for purpose’ - effectively and accurately convey risk and warnings - public education and awareness
  53. 53. Key Resources• Qld Floods Commission of Inquiry Website: final report of the Commission of Inquiry (March 2012)• QRA Website: interactive mapping, floodlines, before & after maps• QGIS Website: download imagery& floodlines• DNRM Website: access & download satellite imagery, aerial photography, floodlines, town maps, web services for the 2012 SW Queensland Floods
  54. 54. Charleville 2012 Roma 2012 The End / Questions