Advances in Earth Science ›› 2011, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (7): 731-740. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2011.07.0731

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Advances in Satellite Retrieval of Terrestrial Surface Water Parameters

Song Ping 1,2, Liu Yuanbo 1, Liu Yanchun 1   

  1. 1.Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing210008,China;
    2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China
  • Received:2010-12-31 Revised:2011-04-25 Online:2011-07-10 Published:2011-07-10

Song Ping, Liu Yuanbo, Liu Yanchun. Advances in Satellite Retrieval of Terrestrial Surface Water Parameters[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2011, 26(7): 731-740.

Terrestrial water, in forms of rivers, lakes and wetlands, is essential to life on the Earth. Accurate monitoring of its spatial and temporal dynamics is important towards comprehensive understanding of global water cycle and effective management of water resources. Remote sensing offers great potential to measure terrestrial water from space in a broad scale. This paper provides a survey of approaches to retrieve the physical parameters of terrestrial water. Water surface area can be delineated from the optics, the radar, or the area-stage relationship-based approaches. Water stage can be retrieved from the satellite altimetry or the imagery approaches. Water depth is retrievable from the statistics-or the artificial neural networks (ANN)-based approaches. Water storage can be estimated with the area, stage and digital elevation model (DEM) data, or the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment'(GRACE)-based approaches. River discharge can be estimated from the empirical relationship between discharge and a hydraulic variable, or estimated based on the Manning equation.With attention to retrieval accuracy, the paper addresses the advantages and disadvantages of the approaches. There remain challenging issues in satellite resolution, simultaneous observation, and surface complexity. New generation satellites, such as the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICEsat)-2 and the Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT), and multi-satellite-combined retrieval approaches will greatly improve our ability in monitoring spatio-temporal dynamics of terrestrial water.

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