CSSTEAP analyses Sardoba dam failure

Using space-based information, the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) affiliated to the United Nations has analysed the recent failure of a dam around the Sardoba Reservoir in Uzbekistan. Following a week of heavy rain in the region, the wall of the dam broke on 1 May and flooded surroundings in Uzbekistan as well as Kazakhstan to the north. According to media reports, the breach led to the evacuation of thousands of people in the area. 

The analysis carried out by CSSTEAP makes use of MODIS multi-temporal satellite images to identify the maximum spread of the floods, which was observed on 2 May. Waters receded in the following days, although they are still visibile along the border between the two countries on imagery from 12 May.

With the help of Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 optical imagery, CSSTEAP concludes that settlements in the area appear to be severly impacted by the water, which flowed into low-lying regions as there is a 20m elevation drop from the dam to the border region. Optical imagery from before and after the event also helps identify a 270m long breach of the dam's wall.

CSSTEAP is one of six Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education (affiliated to the United Nations) across the globe. It regularly supports UN-SPIDER capacity-building activities in the region.