Exploring the Combined Potential of Altmetric Mission and Product Datasets for Surface Water Elevation
Martinka-Preaux, S; Birkett, C.
University of Maryland

Satellite radar altimetry is a valuable tool in providing surface height (stage) measurements of inland water targets. Clearly demonstrating a non-ocean application, hydrological-based altimetric studies have been ongoing for well over a decade. The technique has been utilized in many interdisciplinary projects seeking surface elevation for lakes, rivers and wetlands, in many cases providing new datasets for regions where traditional gauge data is completely lacking. The technique has both advantages and limitations, the latter placing restrictions on spatial coverage, target size and stage accuracy. While researchers explore the potential of future enhanced instruments, the merits of utilizing combined product datasets and combined synergistic mission data can also be investigated. Here we present results of a study that examines the potential of a) combining the Topex and Jason-1 IGDR, GDR and SDR datasets and b) utilizing the ERS and ENVISAT data sets in singular and synergistic form. Focus is on a) the ability to acquire elevation data close to lake, river bank and estuary shore-line, b) the ability to separate river channel from floodplain signal, and c) an enhancement of the acquired elevation accuracies with respect to target size and altimetric range (atmospheric) corrections. Case studies include the Missouri river, the main branch of the Amazon river, and the Lake Powell and Mead reservoirs.


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