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TALK: Satellite remote sensing for river hydrology

Dr. Elena Zakharov, Maynooth University of Ireland and Institute of Water Problem RAS Moscow Russia

11th Dec 2020, 11am. 

Observations of river discharge have significantly reduced over the last 30 years. Although many national services continue observations of key rivers at key stations, the availability of these observations for the scientific community and for climate research is limited. Alternative methods of estimation and monitoring of river flow (modelling and satellite observations) have been rapidly developed to fill this gap. Hydrological modelling is a powerful tool giving insights at regional or basin scales; while satellites can provide worldwide observations. One of the widely used EO methods of discharge estimation is based on satellite altimetry. Altimetry provides reliable regular and weather-independent measurements of water height at a river cross-section. During the last two decades, several methods exploiting these measurements have been developed and tested worldwide on rivers of different size and morphology. Current presentation is dedicated to the review of the main methods and to assessment of the main factors affecting the accuracy of the EO discharge retrievals. Among the factors the satellite performance, the river scale, the character of the water regime and the channel morphology will be discussed.

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