Science Technology & Applied Research
(STAR) Science Technology & Applied Research
Science Technology & Applied Research

Pakistan-United States Collaborative Research Endeavor

Universities Working Together on Natural Hazards, Water & Energy

Pakistan is a country prone to hydro-meteorological disasters: flooding, landslides, droughts, and land deformation, as shown in the catastrophic floods that occurred in the summers of 2010 and 2011, and the burial of army camp in an ice-and-rock avalanche in the high mountains of Himalayas in 2012. The floods and the rain and earthquake-induced landslides throughout the country underscore the need for a disaster risk assessment and management system. Disaster management is a typically multi-disciplinary endeavor, requiring many types of data with spatial and temporal attributes that should be made available to first responders in the right format for decision-making. Geospatial information, including satellite remote sensing imageries and data bases associated with geographical information system, plays a crucial role in disaster risk management and emergency response. The effective operation of such a spatial decision support system depends critically on not only technical specifications but also capacity building, institutional development, data collection, processing and distribution and information sharing.

This applied research endeavor is a collaborative effort between the Universities and research institutions in Pakistan and the United States. The ultimate goal of this project is to build Pakistan’s national capacity in natural disaster risk mitigation through training and research in geographical information science, which should help to improve prediction of natural hazards and reduce hydrometeorological disaster fatalities in Pakistan. This effort is the first of its kind to promote exchanges of technical knowledgebase between the two countries on disaster impact assessment and management research. The two partner institutions, the National University of Science and Technology (Pakistan side) and the University of Oklahoma (U.S. Side), will conduct collaborative research in floods and related natural disaster and vulnerability assessment methodologies. The project should help to prepare a cadre of professionals for natural disaster risk assessment and management in Pakistan.

Dr. Yang Hong

PI- (U.S. side)

Dr. Yang Hong is currently professor of hydro-meteorology-climatology and remote sensing in the School of Civil Engineering & Environmental Sciences and in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. Previously, he was a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Post-doc researcher at University of California, Irvine. Dr. Hong is currently the Director of Hydrometeorology and RemOte Sensing Laboratory (HyDROS Lab: at the National Weather Center, Norman OK. Dr. Hong’s areas of research span the wide range of hydrology-meteorology-climatology, with particular interest in bridging the gap among the water-weather-climate-human systems across scales in space and time. He has developed and taught class topics such as remote sensing retrieval and applications, advanced hydrologic modeling, climate change and natural hazards, engineering survey/measurement and statistics, land surface modeling and data assimilation systems for hydrological cycle and water systems under a changing climate.

Dr. Muhammad Umar Khan Khattak

PI- (Pakistan side)

Dr. Umar Khattak is Professor and Head of Department at the Institute of Geographic Information Systems (IGIS) at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. His research interest broadly span the areas of GIS and Remote Sensing applications in mapping, visualization, analysis, and interpretation of climate change, water resources, food and agriculture, glaciers, hydrological investigations and modeling, geophysics, natural hazard and disaster management, geomorphological studies, geostatistical investigation and modeling, geosciences, environment, oil and gas, mineral exploration, geotechnical engineering and soil sciences. Dr. Khattak earned his PhD degrees in Earth Sciences in 1995 from University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA. He received MS in Earth Sciences in 1990 from University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Dr. Khattak earned his MPhil, MS, and a BS (Honors) degrees from the University of Peshawar in 1986, 1981, and 1980, respectively.

Dr. Sadiq Ibrahim Khan

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Mr. Humberto Vergara

Ph.D. Candidate

Mr. Zhanming Wan

Ph.D. Candidate

Mr. Zac Flamig

Ph.D. Candidate

Students involved in the project:

Mr. Muhammad Majid

Mr. Muhammad Majid is an MS student at the IGIS, NUST. Mr. Majid specializes in hydrological modeling in central Indus basin of Salt Range area.

Mr. Ahmad Ammar

Mr. Ahmad Ammar is an MS student at the IGIS, NUST. Mr. Ammar specializes in hydrological modeling in Upper Indus basin of Besham Qila area. He is quantifying the Effects of Changes in Land Use Land Cover on the Hydrological Response in Upper Indus Basin.

Mr. Ghafoor Qureshi

Mr. Ghafoor Qureshi is an MS student at the IGIS, NUST. Mr. Qureshi specializes in hydrological modeling in Chitral River basin, northern Pakistan.

Ms. Fariha Iqbal

Ms. Fariha Iqbal is an MS student at the IGIS, NUST. Ms. Iqbal specializes in forestry. She is helping to map the forest cover in the Indus basin and its degradation and land deformation impacts. She is currently researching the use of REDD+ techniques in the restoration of the Changa Manga Forest Plantation, central Pakistan, using GIS and RS.

Published Articles:

  • Khan, S. I.; Hong, Y.; Gourley, J.J.; Khattak, M.U.; De Groeve, T (2014) Multi-Sensor Imaging and Space-Ground Cross-Validation for 2010 Flood along Indus River, Pakistan. Remote Sensing. 6, 2393-2407. doi: 10.3390/rs6032393.
  • Khan, S. I., Y. Hong, J. J. Gourley, M.U. Khattak, B. Yong, H. J. Vergara (2014), Evaluation of Three High-Resolution Satellite Precipitation Estimates: Potential for Monsoon Monitoring over Pakistan. Advances in Space Research. doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2014.04.017. (in Press)
  • Zhanming Wan, Y. Hong, S. I. Khan, J. J. Gourley, Flamig Z, Kirschbaum. D, Tang. G (2014), A Cloud-based Global Flood Disaster Community Cyber-infrastructure: Development and Demonstration. Environmental Modeling & Software (in Press).
  • Khan, S. I., Y. Hong, H. J. Vergara, J. J. Gourley, G. R. Brakenridge, T. De Groeve, Z. L. Flamig, F. Policelli, and B. Yong (2012), Microwave Satellite Data for Hydrologic Modeling in Ungauged Basins, Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, IEEE, PP (99), 1-5.doi: 10.1109/LGRS.2011.2177807.
  • Xue, X., Y. Hong, A.S Limaye, J. J. Gourley, G. J. Huffman, S. I. Khan, Dorji, C and Chen, S (2013), Statistical and Hydrological Evaluation of TRMM-based Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis over the Wangchu Basin of Bhutan: Are the Latest Satellite Precipitation Products 3B42V7 Ready for Use in Ungauged Basins?. Journal of Hydrology. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.06.042
  • Chen, S., Y. Hong, J. J. Gourley, G. J. Huffman, Y. Tian, Q. Cao, P. Kirstetter, B. Yong, J. Hu, J. Hardy, Z. Li, S. I. Khan, X. Xue, (2013) Evaluation of the Successive V6 and V7 TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis over the Continental United States. Water Resources Research.,49, doi:10.1002/2012WR012795.

Conference Presentations/Posters:

Technical Reports:

Many types of data from various sources have been utilized for our research activities. These data types include:


  • TRMM-based Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (1998-present): Pakistan, Quasi-global, 3 Hour 0.25 Degree
  • PERSIANN (2002-Present): Pakistan, Quasi-global, 3-hour 0.25 Degree
  • PERSIANN-CCS Global (2006-present): Global, 4-km, 30-minutes
  • GPCP/CMAP (1979-present): Global Monthly 2.5 x 2.5 Degree


  • Daily Discharge data from more than 30 stations for Pakistan
  • Indus basin Discharge, 15 station, 2000-2013 Ravi basin Discharge, 3 station, 2000-2013
  • 10+ years TRMM-based Rainfall-Runoff Data


  • GDAS 1-Degree Daily Global Potential ET
  • MODIS-based Potential ET
  • Remote Sensing M/M-ET: Oklahoma Actual ET (3-year daily 30m-250m)
  • Global Monthly Mean PET


  • SRTM 30m-90m Global Digital Elevation Datab
  • HydroSHEDS 30m-1000m Global River Channel Network Data
  • Hydro1k Global 1km Hydrological Network Data
  • MODIS Global Multi-year Land cover/types/LST/NDVI
  • LandSat 30m Multi-Band Remote Sensing Data
  • Global Soil Type Classification Data, 1km
  • Many Others


  • Pakistan Flood Inventory Digital Database (1998-2009)
  • Pakistan Landslide Inventory data (2003-2009)
  • Pakistan Landslide Susceptibility data
  • Pakistan MODIS-based Fire Map


  • Global Gridded Population/GDP/HDI

Researchers are requested to forward their queries, related to downloading models and data for further investigations and additional information, to the original sources or owners of the data.

Professor Dr. M. Umar Khan Khattak

ARRC: Advanced Radar Research Center (
National Weather Center
University of Oklahoma
120 David L. Boren Blvd., Suite 3605
Norman, OK 73072, U.S.A.
IEEE Senior Member (
Head of Department
Institute of Geographic Information Systems
National University of Sciences and Technology
H-12 Campus, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
Phone: +92 (51) 9085-4471 (work); +92 (300) 542-8825 (cell); Email:;

Professor Dr. Yang Hong

School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences
School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman OK
HyDROS Lab: HyDrometeorology and RemOte Sensing (
ARRC: Advanced Radar Research Center (
WaTER: Water Technology for Emerging Regions (
Phone: 1-405-325-3644; Fax: 1-405-325-2798; email:
Mailing Address: National Weather Center ARRC Suite 4610

Sadiq Khan, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Civil Engineering & Environmental Science
HyDrometeorology & RemOte Sensing laboratory (HyDROS)
National Weather Center. University of Oklahoma.
120 David L. Boren Blvd. Ste. 3605, Norman, OK 73019.
Voice: +1-405-325-2263; Cell: +1-405-514-0139

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