Floods are one of the most common natural disasters. In recent times, microwave synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite images have been used widely for mapping flood affected areas due to its all-weather capability and acquisition during day and night. Here, in this paper, an automated algorithm is proposed to delineate flood extent from SAR images without any human intervention. The algorithm consists of pre-processing steps like applying orbit file, calibrate to sigma naught, speckle filtering, terrain correction and linear to decibel conversion. The water layer is delineated using multi-segmentation and Otsu’s thresholding technique. Further, flood layer is extracted by postprocessing steps using majority filter, applying permanent water body mask and eliminating hill shadows. The algorithm is tested on a significant number of satellite images covering floods in India, which are having diverse terrain and flooding patterns. In this paper, the steps involved in delineating flood from SAR image of VH polarization from SENTINEL-1 satellite covering chronic flood-prone stretch of part of Ganga River in Bihar state is presented. Accuracy assessment is carried out with the flood layer derived from RADARSAT SAR HV polarized data acquired on the same day and an accuracy of about 96% is obtained. The total processing time taken for the extraction of the flood layer is 9 min. This automation process is beneficial for the generation of rapid flood inundation maps, with high accuracy, which is helpful for flood monitoring and relief management during a disaster.


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