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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(10), 13466-13484; doi:10.3390/rs71013466

Combining Multispectral Imagery with in situ Topographic Data Reveals Complex Water Level Variation in China’s Largest Freshwater Lake

1,2
and
1,2,*
1
Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 21008, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 21008, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guy J-P. Schumann, Deepak R. Mishra and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 27 May 2015 / Revised: 1 October 2015 / Accepted: 10 October 2015 / Published: 15 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Flood Monitoring and Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1432 KB, uploaded 15 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

Lake level variation is an important hydrological indicator of water balance, biodiversity and climate change in drainage basins. This paper illustrates the use of moderate-resolution imaging spectroadiometer (MODIS) data to characterize complex water level variation in Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake in China. MODIS data were used in conjunction with in situ topographic data, otherwise known as the land-water contact method, to investigate the potential of this hybrid water level spatiotemporal variability measurement technique. An error analysis was conducted to assess the derived water level relative to gauge data. Validation results demonstrated that the land-water contact method can satisfactorily capture spatial patterns and seasonal variations in water level fluctuations. The correlation coefficient ranged from 0.684 to 0.835, the root-mean-square-error from 0.79 m–1.09 m, and the mean absolute bias error from 0.65 m to 0.86 m for five main gauge stations surrounding the lake. Additionally, seasonal and interannual variations in the lake’s water level were revealed in the MODIS-based results. These results indicate that the land-water contact method has the potential to be applied in mapping water level changes in Poyang Lake. This study not only provides a foundation for basic hydrological and ecological studies, but is also valuable for the conservation and management of water resources over gauge-sparse regions in Poyang Lake. View Full-Text
Keywords: MODIS; in situ topographic data; water level; spatiotemporal variation; Poyang Lake MODIS; in situ topographic data; water level; spatiotemporal variation; Poyang Lake
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wu, G.; Liu, Y. Combining Multispectral Imagery with in situ Topographic Data Reveals Complex Water Level Variation in China’s Largest Freshwater Lake. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 13466-13484.

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