Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XLI-B8, 327-334, 2016
http://www.int-arch-photogramm-remote-sens-spatial-inf-sci.net/XLI-B8/327/2016/
doi:10.5194/isprs-archives-XLI-B8-327-2016
 
23 Jun 2016
AN ORIGINAL PROCESSING METHOD OF SATELLITE ALTIMETRY FOR ESTIMATING WATER LEVELS AND VOLUME FLUCTUATIONS IN A SERIES OF SMALL LAKES OF THE PANTANAL WETLAND COMPLEX IN BRAZIL
Paulo Henrique Costa, Eric Oliveira Pereira, and Philippe Maillard UFMG, Departamento de Geografia, Av. Antˆonio Carlos, 6627, Belo Horizonte - MG, Brazil
Keywords: Satellite altimetry, Envisat, Saral, Waveform, Retracker, Water level, Small lakes, Pantanal Abstract. Satellite altimetry is becoming a major tool for measuring water levels in rivers and lakes offering accuracies compatible with many hydrological applications, especially in uninhabited regions of difficult access. The Pantanal is considered the largest tropical wetland in the world and the sparsity of in situ gauging station make remote methods of water level measurements an attractive alternative. This article describes how satellites altimetry data from Envisat and Saral was used to determine water level in two small lakes in the Pantanal. By combining the water level with the water surface area extracted from satellite imagery, water volume fluctuations were also estimated for a few periods. The available algorithms (retrackers) that compute a range solution from the raw waveforms do not always produce reliable measurements in small lakes. This is because the return signal gets often “contaminated” by the surrounding land. To try to solve this, we created a “lake” retracker that rejects waveforms that cannot be attributed to “calm water” and convert them to altitude. Elevation data are stored in a database along with the water surface area to compute the volume fluctuations. Satellite water level time series were also produced and compared with the only nearby in situ gauging station. Although the “lake” retracker worked well with calm water, the presence of waves and other factors was such that the standard “ice1” retracker performed better on the overall. We estimate our water level accuracy to be around 75 cm. Although the return time of both satellites is only 35 days, the next few years promise to bring new altimetry satellite missions that will significantly increase this frequency.
Conference paper (PDF, 6971 KB)


Citation: Costa, P. H., Oliveira Pereira, E., and Maillard, P.: AN ORIGINAL PROCESSING METHOD OF SATELLITE ALTIMETRY FOR ESTIMATING WATER LEVELS AND VOLUME FLUCTUATIONS IN A SERIES OF SMALL LAKES OF THE PANTANAL WETLAND COMPLEX IN BRAZIL, Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XLI-B8, 327-334, doi:10.5194/isprs-archives-XLI-B8-327-2016, 2016.

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