The bathymetry of nearshore coastal environments and lakes is constantly reworking because of the change in the patterns of energy dispersal and related sediment transport pathways. Therefore, updated and accurate bathymetric models are a crucial component in providing necessary information for scientific, managerial, and geographical studies. Recent advances in satellite technology revolutionized the acquisition of bathymetric profiles, offering new vistas in mapping. This contribution analyzed the suitability of Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 images for bathymetric mapping of coastal and lake environments. The bathymetric algorithm was developed using an empirical approach and a random forest (RF) model based on the available high-resolution LiDAR bathymetric data for Mobile Bay, Tampa Bay, and Lake Huron regions obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). Our results demonstrate that the satellite-derived bathymetry is efficient for retrieving depths up to 10 m for coastal regions and up to 30 m for the lake environment. While using the empirical approach, the root-mean-square error (RMSE) varied between 1.99 m and 4.74 m for the three regions. The RF model, on the other hand, provided an improved bathymetric model with RMSE between 1.13 m and 1.95 m. The comparative assessment suggests that Sentinel-2 has a slight edge over Landsat-8 images while employing the empirical approach. On the other hand, the RF model shows that Landsat-8 retrieves a better bathymetric model than Sentinel-2. Our work demonstrated that the freely available Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 imageries proved to be reliable data for acquiring updated bathymetric information for large areas in a short period.
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