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A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Okke Batelaan

School of the Environment, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: shallow groundwater hydrology; groundwater recharge-discharge estimation; ecohydrology; GIS/RS based distributed rainfall-runoff modelling; groundwater-surface water interaction; hydrological remote sensing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue on ‘Hydrological Remote Sensing’ aims to follow-up on the promise that remote sensing offers to the hydrological sciences. Previous reviews and special issues on hydrological remote sensing tried often to demonstrate the potential of remote sensing for improved hydrological characterization or modelling. In the last decade there has been a strong increase in the availability of both satellite and airborne sensors from low to high spatial-temporal-spectral resolutions, some of them designed specifically for hydrological purposes. Alongside the increased availability of sensors there are now many remote sensing derived data sets publicly available, ready for use in hydrology. Also the development of non-optical sensors like e.g. gravity, LiDAR and micro-wave allows unprecedented new opportunities. Did the hydrological community now embrace and use therefore remote sensing to its full potential?
In this special issue of Remote Sensing we aim to present the state-of-the-art in combining remote sensing and hydrological research. Reviews, recent advances, future trends and case studies of general interest in the use of remote sensing for precipitation estimation, surface water hydrology, soil moisture, snow monitoring, groundwater hydrology, water quality and evapotranspiration estimation are welcome. We are also interested in how remote sensing can improve spatial-temporal input data, calibration and validation of hydrological modelling. Possible questions of interest are: Does our hydrological prediction become better; does remote sensing reduce the uncertainty? Do we increase our process understanding due to integration of remote sensing data? Are our operational and management tools improved due to remote sensing?

Professor Dr. Okke Batelaan
Guest Editor

Keywords

• precipitation
• surface water hydrology
• soil moisture
• snow
• groundwater hydrology
• water quality
• evapotranspiration
• integration in hydrological modelling

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Stalled Recovery of the Iraqi Marshes
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(2), 1260-1274; doi:10.3390/rs6021260
Received: 5 December 2013 / Revised: 22 January 2014 / Accepted: 26 January 2014 / Published: 30 January 2014
PDF Full-text (2902 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Iraqi (Mesopotamian) Marshes, an extensive wetlands system in Iraq, has been heavily impacted by both human and climate forces over the past decades. In the period leading up to the Second Gulf War in 2002, the marshlands were shrinking due to both
[...] Read more.
The Iraqi (Mesopotamian) Marshes, an extensive wetlands system in Iraq, has been heavily impacted by both human and climate forces over the past decades. In the period leading up to the Second Gulf War in 2002, the marshlands were shrinking due to both a policy of draining and water diversion in Iraq and construction of dams upstream on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Following the war through 2006, this trend was reversed as the diversions were removed and active draining stopped. A combination of MODIS and GRACE datasets were used to determine the change in surface water area (SWA) in the marshes, marshland extent and change in mass both upriver in the Tigris and Euphrates watersheds and in the marshlands. Results suggest that the post war dam removal and decreased pumping in 2003 provided only temporary respite for the marshlands (2003–2006 SWA: 1,477 km2 increase (600%), water equivalent depth (WED): +2.0 cm/yr.; 2006–2009: −860 km2 (−41%) WED: −3.9 cm/yr.). Unlike in the period 2003–2006, from 2006 forward the mass variations in the marshes are highly correlated with those in the upper and middle watershed (R = 0.86 and 0.92 respectively), suggesting that any recovery due to that removal is complete, and that all future changes are tied more strongly to any climate changes that will affect recharge in the upper Tigris-Euphrates system. Precipitation changes in the watershed show a reduction of an average of 15% below the 15 yr mean in 2007–2011 This corresponds with published ensemble predictions for the 2071–2099 time period, that suggested similar marshland shrinkage should be expected in that time period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Temporal Behavior of Lake Size-Distribution in a Thawing Permafrost Landscape in Northwestern Siberia
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(1), 621-636; doi:10.3390/rs6010621
Received: 14 November 2013 / Revised: 18 December 2013 / Accepted: 2 January 2014 / Published: 6 January 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1544 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Arctic warming alters regional hydrological systems, as permafrost thaw increases active layer thickness and in turn alters the pathways of water flow through the landscape. Further, permafrost thaw may change the connectivity between deeper and shallower groundwater and surface water altering the terrestrial
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Arctic warming alters regional hydrological systems, as permafrost thaw increases active layer thickness and in turn alters the pathways of water flow through the landscape. Further, permafrost thaw may change the connectivity between deeper and shallower groundwater and surface water altering the terrestrial water balance and distribution. Thermokarst lakes and wetlands in the Arctic offer a window into such changes as these landscape elements depend on permafrost and are some of the most dynamic and widespread features in Arctic lowland regions. In this study we used Landsat remotely sensed imagery to investigate potential shifts in thermokarst lake size-distributions, which may be brought about by permafrost thaw, over three distinct time periods (1973, 1987–1988, and 2007–2009) in three hydrological basins in northwestern Siberia. Results revealed fluctuations in total area and number of lakes over time, with both appearing and disappearing lakes alongside stable lakes. On the whole basin scales, there is no indication of any sustained long-term change in thermokarst lake area or lake size abundance over time. This statistical temporal consistency indicates that spatially variable change effects on local permafrost conditions have driven the individual lake changes that have indeed occurred over time. The results highlight the importance of using multi-temporal remote sensing data that can reveal complex spatiotemporal variations distinguishing fluctuations from sustained change trends, for accurate interpretation of thermokarst lake changes and their possible drivers in periods of climate and permafrost change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Envisat/ASAR Images for the Calibration of Wind Drag Action in the Doñana Wetlands 2D Hydrodynamic Model
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(1), 379-406; doi:10.3390/rs6010379
Received: 28 October 2013 / Revised: 19 December 2013 / Accepted: 20 December 2013 / Published: 27 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6537 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Doñana National Park wetlands are located in southwest Spain, on the right bank of the Guadalquivir River, near the Atlantic Ocean coast. The wetlands dry out completely every summer and progressively flood again throughout the fall and winter seasons. Given the flatness of
[...] Read more.
Doñana National Park wetlands are located in southwest Spain, on the right bank of the Guadalquivir River, near the Atlantic Ocean coast. The wetlands dry out completely every summer and progressively flood again throughout the fall and winter seasons. Given the flatness of Doñana’s topography, the wind drag action can induce the flooding or emergence of extensive areas, detectable in remote sensing images. Envisat/ASAR scenes acquired before and during strong and persistent wind episodes enabled the spatial delineation of the wind-induced water displacement. A two-dimensional hydrodynamic model of Doñana wetlands was built in 2006 with the aim to predict the effect of proposed hydrologic restoration actions within Doñana’s basin. In this work, on-site wind records and concurrent ASAR scenes are used for the calibration of the wind-drag modeling by assessing different formulations. Results show a good adjustment between the modeled and observed wind drag effect. Displacements of up to 2 km in the wind direction are satisfactorily reproduced by the hydrodynamic model, while including an atmospheric stability parameter led to no significant improvement of the results. Such evidence will contribute to a more accurate simulation of hypothetic or design scenarios, when no information is available for the atmospheric stability assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Dynamic Hydrological Modeling in Drylands with TRMM Based Rainfall
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6691-6716; doi:10.3390/rs5126691
Received: 17 October 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (6200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper introduces and evaluates DryMOD, a dynamic water balance model of the key hydrological process in drylands that is based on free, public-domain datasets. The rainfall model of DryMOD makes optimal use of spatially disaggregated Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) datasets to
[...] Read more.
This paper introduces and evaluates DryMOD, a dynamic water balance model of the key hydrological process in drylands that is based on free, public-domain datasets. The rainfall model of DryMOD makes optimal use of spatially disaggregated Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) datasets to simulate hourly rainfall intensities at a spatial resolution of 1-km. Regional-scale applications of the model in seasonal catchments in Tunisia and Senegal characterize runoff and soil moisture distribution and dynamics in response to varying rainfall data inputs and soil properties. The results highlight the need for hourly-based rainfall simulation and for correcting TRMM 3B42 rainfall intensities for the fractional cover of rainfall (FCR). Without FCR correction and disaggregation to 1 km, TRMM 3B42 based rainfall intensities are too low to generate surface runoff and to induce substantial changes to soil moisture storage. The outcomes from the sensitivity analysis show that topsoil porosity is the most important soil property for simulation of runoff and soil moisture. Thus, we demonstrate the benefit of hydrological investigations at a scale, for which reliable information on soil profile characteristics exists and which is sufficiently fine to account for the heterogeneities of these. Where such information is available, application of DryMOD can assist in the spatial and temporal planning of water harvesting according to runoff-generating areas and the runoff ratio, as well as in the optimization of agricultural activities based on realistic representation of soil moisture conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Temporal and Seasonal Variations of the Hot Spring Basin Hydrothermal System, Yellowstone National Park, USA
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6587-6610; doi:10.3390/rs5126587
Received: 18 September 2013 / Revised: 15 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5643 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Monitoring Yellowstone National Park’s hydrothermal systems and establishing hydrothermal baselines are the main goals of an ongoing collaborative effort between Yellowstone National Park’s Geology program and Utah State University’s Remote Sensing Services Laboratory. During the first years of this research effort, improvements were
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Monitoring Yellowstone National Park’s hydrothermal systems and establishing hydrothermal baselines are the main goals of an ongoing collaborative effort between Yellowstone National Park’s Geology program and Utah State University’s Remote Sensing Services Laboratory. During the first years of this research effort, improvements were made in image acquisition, processing and calibration. In 2007, a broad-band, forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera (8–12 microns) provided reliable airborne images for a hydrothermal baseline of the Hot Spring Basin hydrothermal system. From 2008 to 2011, night-time, airborne thermal infrared image acquisitions during September yielded temperature maps that established the temporal variability of the hydrothermal system. A March 2012 airborne image acquisition provided an initial assessment of seasonal variability. The consistent, high-spatial resolution imagery (~1 m) demonstrates that the technique is robust and repeatable for generating corrected (atmosphere and emissivity) and calibrated temperature maps of the Hot Spring Basin hydrothermal system. Atmospheric conditions before and at flight-time determine the usefulness of the thermal infrared imagery for geohydrologic applications, such as hydrothermal monitoring. Although these ground-surface temperature maps are easily understood, quantification of radiative heat from the Hot Spring Basin hydrothermal system is an estimate of the system’s total energy output. Area is a key parameter for calculating the hydrothermal system’s heat output. Preliminary heat calculations suggest a radiative heat output of ~56 MW to 62 MW for the central Hot Spring Basin hydrothermal system. Challenges still remain in removing the latent solar component within the calibrated, atmospherically adjusted, and emissivity corrected night-time imagery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Airborne Thermal Data Identifies Groundwater Discharge at the North-Western Coast of the Dead Sea
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6361-6381; doi:10.3390/rs5126361
Received: 20 September 2013 / Revised: 8 November 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 26 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (6716 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A qualitative and quantitative monitoring of groundwater discharge was conducted based on an airborne thermal campaign undertaken along the north-western coast of the Dead Sea in January 2011 to contribute to the relatively scarce information on groundwater discharge to date in the region.
[...] Read more.
A qualitative and quantitative monitoring of groundwater discharge was conducted based on an airborne thermal campaign undertaken along the north-western coast of the Dead Sea in January 2011 to contribute to the relatively scarce information on groundwater discharge to date in the region. The application of airborne thermal data exploits thermal contrasts that exist between discharging groundwater and background sea surface temperatures of the Dead Sea. Using these contrasts, 72 discharge sites were identified from which only 42 were known from previous in situ measurements undertaken at terrestrial springs by the Israel Hydrological Service. Six of these sites represent submarine springs and at a further 24 locations groundwater appears to seep through the sediment. Although the abundance of groundwater seepage sites suggests a significant, but so far unknown groundwater source, the main contribution appears to originate from terrestrial springs. In an attempt to provide a quantitative approach for terrestrial springs, a linear bootstrap regression model between in situ spring discharge and respective thermal discharge plumes (r2 = 0.87 p < 0.001) is developed and presented here. While the results appear promising and could potentially be applied to derive discharge values at unmonitored sites, several influence factors need to be clarified before a robust and reliable model to efficiently derive a complete quantitative picture of groundwater discharge can be proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Assimilation of MODIS Snow Cover Area Data in a Distributed Hydrological Model Using the Particle Filter
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(11), 5825-5850; doi:10.3390/rs5115825
Received: 29 August 2013 / Revised: 23 October 2013 / Accepted: 24 October 2013 / Published: 8 November 2013
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1425 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Snow is an important component of the water cycle, and its estimation in hydrological models is of great significance concerning the simulation and forecasting of flood events due to snow-melt. The assimilation of Snow Cover Area (SCA) in physical distributed hydrological models is
[...] Read more.
Snow is an important component of the water cycle, and its estimation in hydrological models is of great significance concerning the simulation and forecasting of flood events due to snow-melt. The assimilation of Snow Cover Area (SCA) in physical distributed hydrological models is a possible source of improvement of snowmelt-related floods. In this study, the assimilation in the LISFLOOD model of the MODIS sensor SCA has been evaluated, in order to improve the streamflow simulations of the model. This work is realized with the final scope of improving the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) pan-European flood forecasts in the future. For this purpose daily 500 m resolution MODIS satellite SCA data have been used. Tests were performed in the Morava basin, a tributary of the Danube, for three years. The particle filter method has been chosen for assimilating the MODIS SCA data with different frequencies. Synthetic experiments were first performed to validate the assimilation schemes, before assimilating MODIS SCA data. Results of the synthetic experiments could improve modelled SCA and discharges in all cases. The assimilation of MODIS SCA data with the particle filter shows a net improvement of SCA. The Nash of resulting discharge is consequently increased in many cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Large-Scale Water Productivity Assessments with MODIS Images in a Changing Semi-Arid Environment: A Brazilian Case Study
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(11), 5783-5804; doi:10.3390/rs5115783
Received: 3 September 2013 / Revised: 17 October 2013 / Accepted: 27 October 2013 / Published: 6 November 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1470 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the Brazilian semi-arid region, the intensification of agriculture results in a change of natural vegetation by irrigated crops. To quantify the contrast between these two ecosystems, the large-scale values of water productivity components were modelled in Petrolina (PE) and Juazeiro (BA) municipalities.
[...] Read more.
In the Brazilian semi-arid region, the intensification of agriculture results in a change of natural vegetation by irrigated crops. To quantify the contrast between these two ecosystems, the large-scale values of water productivity components were modelled in Petrolina (PE) and Juazeiro (BA) municipalities. The SAFER (Simple Algorithm For Evapotranspiration Retrieving) algorithm was used to acquire evapotranspiration (ET), while the Monteith's radiation model was applied for estimating the biomass production (BIO). Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite images were used together with agro-meteorological data. In Petrolina and Juazeiro, the mean monthly ET values for irrigated crops were 938 and 739 mm∙month−1, with the corresponding ones for natural vegetation of 385 and 194 mm∙month−1.Water productivity (WP) was analysed by the ratio of BIO to ET, defined here as the ratio of the net benefits from the mixed agricultural systems to the amount of water required for producing those benefits. The highest incremental WP values, as a result of the irrigated crops introduction, happened outside the rainy period. More spatial WP uniformity occurred in natural vegetation, when comparing with irrigated crops. The most frequent WP values in Petrolina were between 1.6 and 2.2 kg∙m−3 while in Juazeiro this range was from 1.0 to 1.6 kg∙m−3. The differences between the municipalities can be mainly explained by differences in precipitation and soil water storages conditions, promoting better rainfall use efficiency by the natural vegetation in the first one. The results of the current research are important for appraising the land use change impacts in situations of expanding irrigation areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Optimizing Satellite-Based Precipitation Estimation for Nowcasting of Rainfall and Flash Flood Events over the South African Domain
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(11), 5702-5724; doi:10.3390/rs5115702
Received: 16 August 2013 / Revised: 18 October 2013 / Accepted: 21 October 2013 / Published: 4 November 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1830 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The South African Weather Service is mandated to issue warnings of hazardous weather events, including those related to heavy precipitation, in order to safeguard life and property. Flooding and flash flood events are common in South Africa. Frequent updates and real-time availability of
[...] Read more.
The South African Weather Service is mandated to issue warnings of hazardous weather events, including those related to heavy precipitation, in order to safeguard life and property. Flooding and flash flood events are common in South Africa. Frequent updates and real-time availability of precipitation data are crucial to support hydrometeorological warning services. Satellite rainfall estimation provides a very important data source for flash flood guidance systems as well as nowcasting of precipitation events for the data sparse regions of the African continent. Although low earth orbiting satellites with microwave instruments provide good quality rainfall estimates, their temporal and spatial resolution are not adequate for time-critical services. Precipitation estimation using geostationary satellites is less accurate, but provides excellent spatial coverage, is updated frequently and is available in real-time. This study compares different ways to use and combine satellite precipitation estimates and numerical weather prediction model fields over the South African domain in order to determine the optimal estimate of precipitation, which can also be applied in real-time to support flash flood guidance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Performance of a Northern Gulf of Mexico Tidal Model Using Satellite Imagery
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(11), 5662-5679; doi:10.3390/rs5115662
Received: 15 September 2013 / Revised: 29 September 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 1 November 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4962 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tidal harmonic analysis simulations along with simulations spanning four specific historical time periods in 2003 and 2004 were conducted to test the performance of a northern Gulf of Mexico tidal model. A recently developed method for detecting inundated areas based on integrated remotely
[...] Read more.
Tidal harmonic analysis simulations along with simulations spanning four specific historical time periods in 2003 and 2004 were conducted to test the performance of a northern Gulf of Mexico tidal model. A recently developed method for detecting inundated areas based on integrated remotely sensed data (i.e., Radarsat-1, aerial imagery, LiDAR, Landsat 7 ETM+) was applied to assess the performance of the tidal model. The analysis demonstrates the applicability of the method and its agreement with traditional performance assessment techniques such as harmonic resynthesis and water level time series analysis. Based on the flooded/non-flooded coastal areas estimated by the integrated remotely sensed data, the model is able to adequately reproduce the extent of inundation within four sample areas from the coast along the Florida panhandle, correctly identifying areas as wet or dry over 85% of the time. Comparisons of the tidal model inundation to synoptic (point-in-time) inundation areas generated from the remotely sensed data generally agree with the results of the traditional performance assessment techniques. Moreover, this approach is able to illustrate the spatial distribution of model inundation accuracy allowing for targeted refinement of model parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Effects of Soil Layer Classification in the Common Land Model on Modeled Surface Variables and the Associated Land Surface Soil Moisture Retrieval Model
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(11), 5514-5529; doi:10.3390/rs5115514
Received: 23 August 2013 / Revised: 15 October 2013 / Accepted: 15 October 2013 / Published: 28 October 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2003 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land surface soil moisture (SSM) is crucial in research and applications in hydrology, ecology, and meteorology. A novel SSM retrieval model, based on the diurnal cycles of land surface temperature (LST) and net surface shortwave radiation (NSSR), has recently been reported. It suggests
[...] Read more.
Land surface soil moisture (SSM) is crucial in research and applications in hydrology, ecology, and meteorology. A novel SSM retrieval model, based on the diurnal cycles of land surface temperature (LST) and net surface shortwave radiation (NSSR), has recently been reported. It suggests a promising avenue for the retrieval of regional SSM using LST and NSSR derived from geostationary satellites in a future development. As part of a further improvement of previous work, effects of soil layer classification in the Common Land Model (CoLM) on modeled LST, NSSR and the associated SSM retrieval model in particular, have been evaluated. To address this issue, the soil profile has been divided in to three layers, named upper layer (0–0.05 m), root layer (0.05–1.30 m) and bottom layer (1.30–2.50 m). By varying the number of soil layers with the three layer zones, nine different soil layer classifications have been performed in the CoLM to produce simulated data. Results indicate that (1) modeled SSM is less sensitive to soil layer classification while modeled LST and NSSR are sensitive, especially under wet conditions and (2) the simulated data based SSM retrieval model is stable for a fixed upper layer with varying classifications of root and bottom layers. It also concludes an optimal soil layer classification for the CoLM while producing simulated data to develop the SSM retrieval model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Derivation of Daily Evaporative Fraction Based on Temporal Variations in Surface Temperature, Air Temperature, and Net Radiation
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(10), 5369-5396; doi:10.3390/rs5105369
Received: 30 August 2013 / Revised: 25 September 2013 / Accepted: 9 October 2013 / Published: 22 October 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (3812 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on surface energy balance and the assumption of fairly invariant evaporative fraction (EF) during daytime, this study proposes a new parameterization scheme of directly estimating daily EF. Daily EF is parameterized as a function of temporal variations in surface temperature, air temperature,
[...] Read more.
Based on surface energy balance and the assumption of fairly invariant evaporative fraction (EF) during daytime, this study proposes a new parameterization scheme of directly estimating daily EF. Daily EF is parameterized as a function of temporal variations in surface temperature, air temperature, and net radiation. The proposed EF parameterization scheme can well reproduce daily EF estimates from a soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer (SVAT) model with a root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.13 and a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.719. When input variables from in situ measurements at the Yucheng station in North China are used, daily EF estimated by the proposed method is in good agreement with measurements from the eddy covariance system corrected by the residual energy method with an R2 of 0.857 and an RMSE of 0.119. MODIS/Aqua remotely sensed data were also applied to estimate daily EF. Though there are some inconsistencies between the remotely sensed daily EF estimates and in situ measurements due to errors in input variables and measurements, the result from the proposed parameterization scheme shows a slight improvement to SEBS-estimated EF with remotely sensed instantaneous inputs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Comparison between SAR Soil Moisture Estimates and Hydrological Model Simulations over the Scrivia Test Site
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(10), 4961-4976; doi:10.3390/rs5104961
Received: 11 August 2013 / Revised: 11 September 2013 / Accepted: 24 September 2013 / Published: 11 October 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, the results of a comparison between the soil moisture content (SMC) estimated from C-band SAR, the SMC simulated by a hydrological model, and the SMC measured on ground are presented. The study was carried out in an agricultural test site
[...] Read more.
In this paper, the results of a comparison between the soil moisture content (SMC) estimated from C-band SAR, the SMC simulated by a hydrological model, and the SMC measured on ground are presented. The study was carried out in an agricultural test site located in North-west Italy, in the Scrivia river basin. The hydrological model used for the simulations consists of a one-layer soil water balance model, which was found to be able to partially reproduce the soil moisture variability, retaining at the same time simplicity and effectiveness in describing the topsoil. SMC estimates were derived from the application of a retrieval algorithm, based on an Artificial Neural Network approach, to a time series of ENVISAT/ASAR images acquired over the Scrivia test site. The core of the algorithm was represented by a set of ANNs able to deal with the different SAR configurations in terms of polarizations and available ancillary data. In case of crop covered soils, the effect of vegetation was accounted for using NDVI information, or, if available, for the cross-polarized channel. The algorithm results showed some ability in retrieving SMC with RMSE generally <0.04 m3/m3 and very low bias (i.e., <0.01 m3/m3), except for the case of VV polarized SAR images: in this case, the obtained RMSE was somewhat higher than 0.04 m3/m3 (≤0.058 m3/m3). The algorithm was implemented within the framework of an ESA project concerning the development of an operative algorithm for the SMC retrieval from Sentinel-1 data. The algorithm should take into account the GMES requirements of SMC accuracy (≤5% in volume), spatial resolution (≤1 km) and timeliness (3 h from observation). The SMC estimated by the SAR algorithm, the SMC estimated by the hydrological model, and the SMC measured on ground were found to be in good agreement. The hydrological model simulations were performed at two soil depths: 30 and 5 cm and showed that the 30 cm simulations indicated, as expected, SMC values higher than the satellites estimates, with RMSE higher than 0.08 m3/m3. In contrast, in the 5-cm simulations, the agreement between hydrological simulations, satellite estimates and ground measurements could be considered satisfactory, at least in this preliminary comparison, showing a RMSE ranging from 0.054 m3/m3 to 0.051 m3/m3 for comparison with ground measurements and SAR estimates, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle River Discharge Estimation by Using Altimetry Data and Simplified Flood Routing Modeling
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(9), 4145-4162; doi:10.3390/rs5094145
Received: 16 June 2013 / Revised: 13 August 2013 / Accepted: 20 August 2013 / Published: 22 August 2013
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (380 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A methodology to estimate the discharge along rivers, even poorly gauged ones, taking advantage of water level measurements derived from satellite altimetry is proposed. The procedure is based on the application of the Rating Curve Model (RCM), a simple method allowing for the
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A methodology to estimate the discharge along rivers, even poorly gauged ones, taking advantage of water level measurements derived from satellite altimetry is proposed. The procedure is based on the application of the Rating Curve Model (RCM), a simple method allowing for the estimation of the flow conditions in a river section using only water levels recorded at that site and the discharges observed at another upstream section. The European Remote-Sensing Satellite 2, ERS-2, and the Environmental Satellite, ENVISAT, altimetry data are used to provide time series of water levels needed for the application of RCM. In order to evaluate the usefulness of the approach, the results are compared with the ones obtained by applying an empirical formula that allows discharge estimation from remotely sensed hydraulic information. To test the proposed procedure, the 236 km-reach of the Po River is investigated, for which five in situ stations and four satellite tracks are available. Results show that RCM is able to appropriately represent the discharge, and its performance is better than the empirical formula, although this latter does not require upstream hydrometric data. Given its simple formal structure, the proposed approach can be conveniently utilized in ungauged sites where only the survey of the cross-section is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating Satellite Products for Precipitation Estimation in Mountain Regions: A Case Study for Nepal
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(8), 4107-4123; doi:10.3390/rs5084107
Received: 26 June 2013 / Revised: 12 August 2013 / Accepted: 13 August 2013 / Published: 16 August 2013
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (443 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Precipitation in mountain regions is often highly variable and poorly observed, limiting abilities to manage water resource challenges. Here, we evaluate remote sensing and ground station-based gridded precipitation products over Nepal against weather station precipitation observations on a monthly timescale. We find that
[...] Read more.
Precipitation in mountain regions is often highly variable and poorly observed, limiting abilities to manage water resource challenges. Here, we evaluate remote sensing and ground station-based gridded precipitation products over Nepal against weather station precipitation observations on a monthly timescale. We find that the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B-43 precipitation product exhibits little mean bias and reasonable skill in giving precipitation over Nepal. Compared to station observations, the TRMM precipitation product showed an overall Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency of 0.49, which is similar to the skill of the gridded station-based product Asian Precipitation-Highly Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation of Water Resources (APHRODITE). The other satellite precipitation products considered (Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP), the Climate Prediction Center Morphing technique (CMORPH), Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information Using Artificial Neural Networks-Cloud Classification System (PERSIANN-CCS)) were less skillful, as judged by Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, and, on average, substantially underestimated precipitation compared to station observations, despite their, in some cases, higher nominal spatial resolution compared to TRMM. None of the products fully captured the dependence of mean precipitation on elevation seen in the station observations. Overall, the TRMM product is promising for use in water resources applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)

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