Richelieu River Floods – One Year On

RADARSAT-2 Data Applications and Utilizations
Providing Support in the Event of Natural Disasters

Minimum and maximum extents of a portion of the 2011 flooding


This animation produced from RADARSAT-2 data shows the maximum (in red) and minimum extent of the flooding in a portion of the basin of the Richelieu River in 2011.



For a period of around 40 days between April and June 2011, heavy rain and the melting of a thick layer of snow in the area surrounding the Lake Champlain Basin and the Richelieu River caused water levels to rise substantially.

In Canada the floods affected approximately 3,000 principal residences in Quebec's Montérégie region. Municipalities primarily affected by the flooding include Venise en Québec, Noyan, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Henryville, Saint-Paul-de-l'Île-aux-Noix, Sainte-Anne-de-Sabrevois, Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville and Saint-Armand. According to the Meteorological Service of Canada, the flooding was one of the most important meteorological events in Canada in 2011.

RADARSAT-2 images covering the period from April 11 to June 29, 2011, were used to develop products showing the extent of the flooding, thus providing support for Public Safety Canada's efforts in the field.

As part of a new disaster management initiative called RIPS (Rapid Information Products and Services), the Canadian Space Agency's Earth Observation Applications and Utilizations Division worked closely with Public Safety Canada and Montreal firm Effigis Géo-Solutions to provide greater detail about the extent of the flooding, using Earth Observation data.

Earth Observation satellites such as RADARSAT-2 have become key resources when the need for more stringent flood management arises. The data are used to facilitate forecasting, intervention and the rehabilitation of affected areas.

Rights: RADARSAT-2 Data and Product© MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (2012). All rights reserved. RADARSAT is an official trademark of the Canadian Space Agency. Data from the EO-1/ALI image were made public by the U.S. Geological Survey and distributed by the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC) located at USGS/EROS, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Effigis Géo-Solutions, the Canadian Space Agency and Public Safety Canada cannot be held responsible for the contents or use of these products.

Disclaimer: These products are for demonstration purposes only. The Canadian Space Agency is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information or services provided by external sources.