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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(4), 708-720; doi:10.3390/rs3040708

The Relevance of GLAS/ICESat Elevation Data for the Monitoring of River Networks

1,* , 1
1 CEMAGREF, UMR TETIS, 500 rue François Breton, 34093 Montpellier cedex 5, France 2 AgroParisTech, UMR TETIS, 500 rue François Breton, 34093 Montpellier cedex 5, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 January 2011 / Revised: 23 March 2011 / Accepted: 29 March 2011 / Published: 6 April 2011
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The Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimetry mission from 2003 to 2008 provided an important dataset for elevation measurements. The quality of GLAS/ICESat (Geoscience Laser Altimeter System) data was investigated for Lake Leman in Switzerland and France by comparing laser data to hydrological gauge water levels. The correction of GLAS/ICESat waveform saturation successfully improved the quality of water elevation data. First, the ICESat elevations and waveforms corresponding to water footprints across the transition from the land to water were analyzed. Water elevations (2 to 10 measurements) following the land-water transition are often of lesser quality. The computed accuracy for the ICESat elevation measurements is approximately 5 cm, excluding transitions footprints, and 15 cm, including these footprints. Second, the accuracy of ICESat elevation was studied using data acquired on French rivers with a width greater than the size of the ICESat footprint. The obtained root mean square error (RMSE) for ICESat elevations in regard to French rivers was 1.14 m (bias = 0.07 m; standard deviation = 1.15 m), which indicates that small rivers could not be monitored using ICESat with acceptable accuracy due to land-water transition sensor inertia.
Keywords: lidar; ICESat; rivers; lakes; elevation lidar; ICESat; rivers; lakes; elevation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Baghdadi, N.; Lemarquand, N.; Abdallah, H.; Bailly, J.S. The Relevance of GLAS/ICESat Elevation Data for the Monitoring of River Networks. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 708-720.

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