Identifying floodplain boundaries is of paramount importance for earth, environmental and socioeconomic studies addressing riverine risk and resource management. However, to date, a global floodplain delineation using a homogeneous procedure has not been constructed. In this paper, we present the first, comprehensive, high-resolution, gridded dataset of Earth’s floodplains at 250-m resolution (GFPLAIN250m).
Satellites see the world as a bunch of pixels. In this recent article in the journal Nature, the authors used a global set of satellite images to create the first global layer of floodplains. This data is now publicly accessible as a free download (one you can put into ArcGIS after the files are extracted and zipped).