Pix2Streams: Dynamic Hydrology Maps from Satellite-LiDAR Fusion

Where are the Earth's streams flowing right now? Inland surface waters expand with floods and contract with droughts, so there is no one map of our streams. Current satellite approaches are limited to monthly observations that map only the widest streams. These are fed by smaller tributaries that make up much of the dendritic surface network but whose flow is unobserved. A complete map of our daily waters can give us an early warning for where droughts are born: the receding tips of the flowing network. Mapping them over years can give us a map of impermanence of our waters, showing where to expect water, and where not to. To that end, we feed the latest high-res sensor data to multiple deep learning models in order to map these flowing networks every day, stacking the times series maps over many years. Specifically, i) we enhance water segmentation to $50$ cm/pixel resolution, a 60$\times$ improvement over previous state-of-the-art results. Our U-Net trained on 30-40cm WorldView3 images can detect streams as narrow as 1-3m (30-60$\times$ over SOTA). Our multi-sensor, multi-res variant, WasserNetz, fuses a multi-day window of 3m PlanetScope imagery with 1m LiDAR data, to detect streams 5-7m wide. Both U-Nets produce a water probability map at the pixel-level. ii) We integrate this water map over a DEM-derived synthetic valley network map to produce a snapshot of flow at the stream level. iii) We apply this pipeline, which we call Pix2Streams, to a 2-year daily PlanetScope time-series of three watersheds in the US to produce the first high-fidelity dynamic map of stream flow frequency. The end result is a new map that, if applied at the national scale, could fundamentally improve how we manage our water resources around the world.

PDF Abstract
No code implementations yet. Submit your code now


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper

Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.