Remote sensing applications to flood hydrology in Belize

  • S.T. Miller

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The research compares the usefullness of four remote sensing information sources, these being LANDSAT photographic prints, LANDSAT computer compatible tapes, Metric Camera and SIR-A photographic prints. These sources provide evaluations of the catchment characteristics of the Belize and Sibun river basins in Central America. Map evaluations at 1:250,000 scale are compared to the results of the same scale, remotely sensed information sources. The values of catchment characteristics for both maps and LANDSAT prints are used in multiple regression analysis, providing flood flow formulae, after investigations to provide a suitable dependent variable discharge series are made for short term records. The use of all remotely sensed information sources in providing evaluations of catchment characteristics is discussed.
LANDSAT prints and computer compatible tapes of a post flood scene are used to estimate flood distributions and volumes. These are compared to values obtained from unit hydrograph analysis, using the dependent discharge series and evaluate the probable losses from the Belize river to the floodplain, thereby assessing the accuracy of LANDSAT estimates. Information relating to flood behaviour is discussed in terms of basic image presentation as well as image processing. A cost analysis of the purchase and use of all materials is provided. Conclusions of the research indicate that LANDSAT print material may provide information suitable for regression analysis at levels of accuracy as great as those of topographic maps, that the differing information sources are uniquely applicable and that accurate estimates of flood volumes may be determined even by post flood imagery.
Date of AwardJun 1986
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorT. Chidley (Supervisor) & W.G. Collins (Supervisor)


  • Belize
  • flooding
  • remote sensing
  • hydrology

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