Contribution of Lakes and Man-Made Reservoirs to Sea Level Change Since 1993
Cazenave, A.; Burillon, E.; Cretaux, JF; Berge-NGuyen, M.; Berge-NGuyen, M.

We have analysed water level time series based on multi-satellite altimetry missions for 82 large lakes and man-made reservoirs worldwide. We use for that purpose the water level products of the HYDROWEB data base developed at LEGOS. Over the 1993-2006 time span, we estimate trends of mean lake/reservoir levels and associated water volumes. We find about equivalent number of positive and negative trends. However, the net volume trend is negative and amounts to 38 cu km/yr. Such a surface water volume loss corresponds to a rate of sea level rise of 0.08 mm/yr since 1993. However such a value can hardly be extrapolated to longer time span because lakes and reservoir water levels present high interannual variability due to both climatic and anthropogenic forcing. Nevertheless the net effect computed here is of the right order of magnitude, as expected from the sea level budget based on comparisons between observed rate of sea level rise and the sum of thermal expansion and land ice melt.


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