Floodplain water storage in the Negro River basin estimated from microwave remote sensing of inundation area and water levels

Abstract : The objective of this study is to determine spatio-temporal variations of water volume over inundated areas located in large river basins using combined observations from the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) onboard the Japanese Earth Resources Satellite (JERS-1), the Topex/Poseidon (T/P) altimetry satellite, and in-situ hydrographic stations. Ultimately, the goal is to quantify the role of floodplains for partitioning water and sediment fluxes over the great fluvial basins of the world. SAR images are used to identify the type of surface (open water, inundated areas, forest) and, hence, the areas covered with water. Both radar altimetry data and in-situ hydrographic measurements yield water level time series. The basin of the Negro River, the tributary which carries the largest discharge to the Amazon River, was selected as a test site. By combining area estimates derived from radar images classification with changes in water level, variations of water volume (focusing on a seasonal cycle) have been obtained. The absence of relationship between water volume and inundated area, reflecting the diverse and widely dispersed floodplains of the basin, is one of the main result of this study.
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Frédéric Frappart, Frédérique Seyler, Jean-Michel Martinez, Juan Gabriel Leon, A. Cazenave. Floodplain water storage in the Negro River basin estimated from microwave remote sensing of inundation area and water levels. Remote Sensing of Environment, Elsevier, 2005, 99, pp.387-399. ⟨10.1016/j.rse.2005.08.016⟩. ⟨ird-00385169⟩

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