Assessing flooding patterns in LLanos of the Apure Region (Venezuela) using radar images

R.H.G. Jongman, J.K. Smith, E.J. Chacon Moreno, J.H. Loedeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the flooding savannas of the Llanos del Orinoco water is the main factor determining the ecosystem and its changes. During flooding, the water level and flood duration depend highly on the relative height position of the ecosystem unit. To understand the spatial processes in the ecosystem it is important to know the water dynamics. The Llanos is an alluvial basin with sediments from the lower-middle Pleistocene until the present. Terrain differences within de Llanos between the Arauca and the Apure River are small. A flood map has been constructed for the regional level and for the area of the hacienda Hato el Frio. For the analysis of the flooding pattern use has been made of radar images. Field data have been collected in the area of hacienda Hato el Frio to be used for interpreting the radar images. In the flood map, an increase of inundation from the dry to the wet season can be observed. At the end of the dry season few areas are covered with water; in the wet season approximately half of the area is inundated. Gallery forests were extracted from a classified Landsat image. The methods applied appear to be valid to the classification and monitoring of inundation, but only the spatial extent is obtained with this method as the radar images do not measure water depths
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-45
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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