Methods to model impermeable URBAN areas using soil moisture characteristics

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Impervious, “waterproofed” soil affects both large cities and small towns and causes several problems, with flooding being the most more evident. In the context of impermeability, the application of remote sensing techniques facilitates the identification of prime areas in urban centres that require intervention for flood control. The present work combined radiometric data from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and the Normalized Difference Water Index to identify impermeability models for urban centres and generated two impermeable surface analysis methods: the Surface Waterproofing Index (SWI) and the Urban Surface Waterproofing Index (USWI). The two methods were tested in Corumba and Ladario, urban centres with humid climates and located in the Brazilian Pantanal. Statistically, both methods were considerably successful (>75%), with SWI obtaining better results. The USWI did not perform as well at measuring waterproofing levels, producing results that were more useful for indicating whether an area was impermeable or not.

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