India Flood Inventory: Creation of a multi-source national geospatial database to facilitate comprehensive flood research

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 2 of this Preprint.


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Manabendra Saharia, Avish Jain, Ronit Raj Baishya, Saagar Haobam, O. P. Sreejith, D. S. Pai, Arezoo RafieeiNasab


Floods are one of the most devastating natural hazards across the world, with India being one of the worst affected countries in terms of fatalities and economic damage. In-depth research is required in order to understand the complex hydrometeorological and geomorphic factors at play and design solutions to minimize the impact of floods. But the existence of a historical inventory of floods is imperative to promote such research endeavors. Though, a few global inventories exist, they lack the spatio-temporal fidelity necessary to make them useful for computational research due to reasons such as concentrating exclusively on large floods, limited temporal scope, non-standard data formats etc. Therefore, there is an urgent need for developing a new database that combines data from global and hitherto-underutilized local datasets using an extensible and common schema. This paper describes the ongoing effort of building the India Flood Inventory (IFI), which is the first freely-available, analysis-ready geospatial dataset over the region with detailed qualitative and quantitative information regarding floods, including spatial extents. The paper outlines the methodology that has been adopted as well as some preliminary findings using the data contained in this inventory. This dataset is expected to advance the understanding of flood processes in the worst affected region of the world.



Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering


Flood database, Global hazard assessment, impact assessment, hydrological modeling, hazard assessment, impact assessment


Published: 2020-10-25 00:00

Last Updated: 2021-03-24 05:36

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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The data will be released on acceptance in a journal as the preprint will go for review soon.

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