Earth Observation and Risk Management

Earth Observation within Risk Management (PREVIEW)

Aim and cooperation

The aim of PREVIEW is the development of enhanced information services necessary for the management of natural disasters and man-made risks. These information services include, but are not limited to: vulnerability mapping, risk assessment, early warning, and damage assessment. PREVIEW will engage in the following improvement paths:

• Improve the quality of information provided to users and citizens used for decision making by transferring mature or near-mature research results into pre-operational information processing chains;
• Improve the aggregation of information and intelligence by maximizing the use of space-based and in-situ data; and,
• Enhancing the cooperative work practices by integrating systems and networks via a harmonization and interoperability of information services.

The project is driven by a core team of 16 partners comprising a broad spectrum of interests (pure science, operators, industry, end-users) within six European countries. In addition, there are 40 associated partners that will be involved the development of services, regional customization and validation.

The Swedish organizations within the project include: Metria Miljöanalys, Swedish Rescue Services Agency (Räddningsverket), Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) and the Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI). In addition, the municipalities of Kristianstad, Sundsvall and Trosa will be benefiting from PREVIEW services as end-users.

Activities and Methods

The Swedish study area relating to Landslide service development will be located in Trosa. The corresponding study areas relating to Northern Flood service development will be located in Kristianstad and Sundsvall. The tasks associated with the Northern Flood service development include updating the current risk maps with the help of Earth Observation (EO) data. Techniques will be developed in order to produce risk probability maps. Simulated scenarios will be designed to support training of key persons participating in the regional tests and the evaluation of the services.

Within the Landslide service development, the work will initially focus on the development of the processing chain (EO products, maps, models, GIS platforms, non-EO ancillary data, validation activities) and of new building blocks (design of geo-databases, creation of custom GIS applications, development of interfaces to integrate the user’s data/system).

Product generation will be based on InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) and its ability to be used as an early warning system in conjunction with conventional geotechnical techniques (involving soil layers and depth, shear strength, groundwater level, pore pressure) and geophysical methods (involving seismic and resistivity investigations). The ground movement will be monitored (retroactively starting in 1991 through the use of archived satellite images) and the resulting information will be combined with relevant climatic data. Expert geologists and geomorphologists in collaboration with the end users will vigorously and independently validate all results.

The project is scheduled to run during 2005 – 2007.

Expected Results

With respect to Northern Flood services, the expectations are:

• An improvement in the forecast of devastating flash-flood events based on “next generation” high-resolution atmospheric models;
• The development of new forecast products;
• The integration of flood management services with non real-time products (e.g. flood extent maps linked to forecasting) with EO data providing input to models;
• The development of new techniques for flood forecasting in medium and large river basins.

The Landslide service will improve the monitoring of deep-seated, slow moving landslides. In addition, a methodology related to the prediction and early warning of shallow, rapid slope movements, integrating new hydro-meteorological modeling with radar remote sensing and GIS, will be developed.


Metria Miljöanalys, Michael Ledwith, michael.ledwith(a)
SMHI, Per-Olof Hårsmar, per-olof.harsmar(a)
SMHI, Erik Liljas, erik.liljas(a)
Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Leif Viberg, leif.viberg(a)
Swedish Rescue Services Agency, Rolf Nordengren, rolf.nordengren(a)
Swedish Rescue Services Agency, Barbro Näslund-Landenmark, barbro.naslund-landenmark(a)


Senast uppdaterad: 25 maj 2009