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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(8), 7522-7545; doi:10.3390/rs6087522

Estimation of Reservoir Discharges from Lake Nasser and Roseires Reservoir in the Nile Basin Using Satellite Altimetry and Imagery Data

Water Resources Commission, P.O. Box CT 5630, Cantonment, Accra, Ghana
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, P.O. Box 3015, 2601 DA Delft, The Netherlands
Hydraulic Research Station, P.O. Box 318, Nile Street, Wad Medani, Sudan
Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 28 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 August 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observation for Water Resource Management in Africa)
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This paper presents the feasibility of estimating discharges from Roseires Reservoir (Sudan) for the period from 2002 to 2010 and Aswan High Dam/Lake Nasser (Egypt) for the periods 1999–2002 and 2005–2009 using satellite altimetry and imagery with limited in situ data. Discharges were computed using the water balance of the reservoirs. Rainfall and evaporation data were obtained from public domain data sources. In situ measurements of inflow and outflow (for validation) were obtained, as well. The other water balance components, such as the water level and surface area, for derivation of the change of storage volume were derived from satellite measurements. Water levels were obtained from Hydroweb for Roseires Reservoir and Hydroweb and Global Reservoir and Lake Monitor (GRLM) for Lake Nasser. Water surface areas were derived from Landsat TM/ETM+ images using the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI). The water volume variations were estimated by integrating the area-level relationship of each reservoir. For Roseires Reservoir, the water levels from Hydroweb agreed well with in situ water levels (RMSE = 0.92 m; R2 = 0.96). Good agreement with in situ measurements were also obtained for estimated water volume (RMSE = 23%; R2 = 0.94) and computed discharge (RMSE = 18%; R2 = 0.98). The accuracy of the computed discharge was considered acceptable for typical reservoir operation applications. For Lake Nasser, the altimetry water levels also agreed well with in situ levels, both for Hydroweb (RMSE = 0.72 m; R2 = 0.81) and GRLM (RMSE = 0.62 m; R2 = 0.96) data. Similar agreements were also observed for the estimated water volumes (RMSE = 10%–15%). However, the estimated discharge from satellite data agreed poorly with observed discharge, Hydroweb (RMSE = 70%; R2 = 0.09) and GRLM (RMSE = 139%; R2 = 0.36). The error could be attributed to the high sensitivity of discharge to errors in storage volume because of the immense reservoir compared to inflow/outflow series. It may also be related to unaccounted spills into the Toshka Depression, overestimation of water inflow and errors in open water evaporation. Therefore, altimetry water levels and satellite imagery data can be used as a source of information for monitoring the operation of Roseires Reservoir with a fairly low uncertainty, while the errors of Lake Nasser are too large to allow for the monitoring of its operation. View Full-Text
Keywords: satellite altimetry; Landsat; reservoir discharge; Lake Nasser; Roseires Reservoir; Nile Basin satellite altimetry; Landsat; reservoir discharge; Lake Nasser; Roseires Reservoir; Nile Basin

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Muala, E.; Mohamed, Y.A.; Duan, Z.; van der Zaag, P. Estimation of Reservoir Discharges from Lake Nasser and Roseires Reservoir in the Nile Basin Using Satellite Altimetry and Imagery Data. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 7522-7545.

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