Estimating river discharge from Earth Observation measurement of river surface hydraulic variables - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Poster Year : 2009

Estimating river discharge from Earth Observation measurement of river surface hydraulic variables

Estimation du débit des cours d'eau par mesure satellitaires des variables hydrauliques de surface

Abstract

River discharge is a key variable to quantify the water cycle, its fluxes and stocks at different scales, from local for the efficient management of water resource to global for the monitoring of climate change. Therefore, developing EO techniques for the measurement or estimation of river discharge is a major challenge. A key question deals with the possibility of deriving river discharge values from EO surface variables (width, level, slope, velocity.: the only one accessible through EO) without any in situ measurement. Based on a literature study and original developments, the possibilities of estimating water surface variables using remote-sensing techniques have been explored, mainly radar altimetry as well as across-track and along-track interferometry. Then a method has been developed, based in a first phase on the equations of the uniform regime, in order to estimate river discharge from these surface variables only. The river section is simplified assuming to have a rectangular cross-section represented by its mean bottom level and width. Based on a set of surface variables measurements at different dates and hydrological regimes, the method estimates the values of the mean bottom level and mean Manning coefficient. Therefore, to be applied, the method requires a reasonable number of measurements along the complete hydrological cycle. The method has been developed and tested on a dataset of measurements realized on several stations on the Amazon basin (HyBAM ANA-IRD Project). Surface velocities and surface width are provided through ADCP measurements while water level and longitudinal river slopes are provided by in situ monitoring of levelled gauging stations and relevant technique to derive the longitudinal profile and slope. This method has been tested on different stations of the Amazon basin and gives satisfactory results on some of them but discrepancies on others. At this stage it appears to give more robust results than the Bjerklie equations [2003-2005]. Further developments are on-going to adapt he method to a non uniform flow configuration.
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Dates and versions

hal-02592787 , version 1 (15-05-2020)

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Jonathan Negrel, Pascal Kosuth, N. Bercher. Estimating river discharge from Earth Observation measurement of river surface hydraulic variables. Earth Observation and Water Cycle Science, Nov 2009, Rome, Italy. 2009. ⟨hal-02592787⟩
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