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Journal Articles Remote Sensing Year : 2022

Correcting GEDI Water Level Estimates for Inland Waterbodies Using Machine Learning

Abstract

The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) LiDAR on the International Space Station has acquired more than 35 billion shots globally in the period between April 2019 and August 2021. The acquired shots could offer a significant database for the measure and monitoring of inland water levels over the Earth’s surface. Nonetheless, previous and current studies have shown that the provided GEDI elevation estimates are significantly less accurate than any available radar or LiDAR altimeter. Indeed, our analysis of GEDI’s altimetric capabilities to retrieve water levels over the five North American Great Lakes presented estimates with a bias that ranged between 0.26 and 0.35 m and a root mean squared error (RMSE) ranging between 0.54 and 0.68 m. Therefore, our objective in this study is to post-process the original GEDI water level estimates from an error model taking instrumental, atmospheric, and lakes surface state factors as proxies, which affect the physical shape of the waveforms, hence introducing uncertainties on the elevation estimates. The first tested model, namely a random forest regressor (RFICW) with the instrumental, atmospheric, and water surface state factors as inputs, was validated temporally (trained on a given year and validated on another) and spatially (trained on a given lake and validated on the remaining four). The results showed a significant decrease in elevation estimation errors both temporally and spatially. The temporally validated models showed an RMSE on the corrected elevation estimates of 0.18 m. Concerning the spatially validated model, the results varied based on the lake data used for training. Indeed, the most accurate spatially validated model showed an RMSE of 0.17 m, while the least accurate model showed an RMSE of 0.26 m. Finally, given that an elevation correction model using all the factors (instrumental, atmospheric, and water surface state factors) presents a best-case scenario, as water surface state factors are only available over a selected number of lakes globally, three additional models based on random forest were tested. The first, RFI , uses only instrumental factors as correction factors, RFIC uses both instrumental and atmospheric factors, while the third, RFIW, uses instrumental and water surface state factors. The temporal validation of these models showed that the model using instrumental factors, while less accurate than the remaining two models, was capable of correcting the original GEDI elevation estimates by a factor of two across the five lakes. On the other hand, the RFIC model was the most accurate between the three, with a slight degradation in comparison to the full model. Indeed, the RFIC model showed an RMSE on the estimation of water levels of 0.21 m.
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Dates and versions

hal-03685718 , version 1 (02-06-2022)

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Ibrahim Fayad, Nicolas Baghdadi, Jean-Stéphane Bailly, Frédéric Frappart, Núria Pantaleoni Reluy. Correcting GEDI Water Level Estimates for Inland Waterbodies Using Machine Learning. Remote Sensing, 2022, 14 (10), pp.2361. ⟨10.3390/rs14102361⟩. ⟨hal-03685718⟩
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