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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(6), 7938-7958; doi:10.3390/rs70607938

Sensitivity of a Floodplain Hydrodynamic Model to Satellite-Based DEM Scale and Accuracy: Case Study—The Atchafalaya Basin

1
Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI), 10210 Greenbelt Road, Lanham, MD 20706, USA
2
Office of Applied Sciences, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
3
Hydrological Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guy J-P. Schumann, George Petropoulos and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 20 April 2015 / Revised: 4 June 2015 / Accepted: 10 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Flood Monitoring and Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7786 KB, uploaded 17 June 2015]   |  

Abstract

The hydrodynamics of low-lying riverine floodplains and wetlands play a critical role in hydrology and ecosystem processes. Because small topographic features affect floodplain storage and flow velocity, a hydrodynamic model setup of these regions imposes more stringent requirements on the input Digital Elevation Model (DEM) compared to upland regions with comparatively high slopes. This current study provides a systematic approach to evaluate the required relative vertical accuracy and spatial resolution of current and future satellite-based altimeters within the context of DEM requirements for 2-D floodplain hydrodynamic models. A case study is presented for the Atchafalaya Basin with a model domain of 1190 km2. The approach analyzes the sensitivity of modeled floodplain water elevation and velocity to typical satellite-based DEM grid-box scale and vertical error, using a previously calibrated version of the physically-based flood inundation model (LISFLOOD-ACC). Results indicate a trade-off relationship between DEM relative vertical error and grid-box size. Higher resolution models are the most sensitive to vertical accuracy, but the impact diminishes at coarser resolutions because of spatial averaging. The results provide guidance to engineers and scientists when defining the observation scales of future altimetry missions such as the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission from the perspective of numerical modeling requirements for large floodplains of O[103] km2 and greater. View Full-Text
Keywords: Atchafalaya; digital elevation model; floodplain; hydrodynamic model; Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission Atchafalaya; digital elevation model; floodplain; hydrodynamic model; Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission
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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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Jung, H.C.; Jasinski, M.F. Sensitivity of a Floodplain Hydrodynamic Model to Satellite-Based DEM Scale and Accuracy: Case Study—The Atchafalaya Basin. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 7938-7958.

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