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Performance Assessment of ICESat-2 Laser Altimeter Data for Water-Level Measurement over Lakes and Reservoirs in China

by 1, 1,2,* and 1,2
1
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Tsinghua Urban Institute, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(5), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12050770
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2020 / Accepted: 27 February 2020 / Published: 28 February 2020
Although the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) onboard the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) was primarily designed for glacier and sea-ice measurement, it can also be applied to monitor lake surface height (LSH). However, its performance in monitoring lakes/reservoirs has rarely been assessed. Here, we report an accuracy evaluation of the ICESat-2 laser altimetry data over 30 reservoirs in China using gauge data. To show its characteristics in large-scale lake monitoring, we also applied an advanced radar altimeter SARAL (Satellite for ARgos and ALtika) and the first laser altimeter ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) to investigate all lakes and reservoirs (>10 km2) in China. We found that the ICESat-2 has a greatly improved altimetric capability, and the relative altimetric error was 0.06 m, while the relative altimetric error was 0.25 m for SARAL. Compared with SARAL and ICESat data, ICESat-2 data had the lowest measurement uncertainty (the standard deviation of along-track heights; 0.02 m vs. 0.17 m and 0.07 m), the greatest temporal frequency (3.43 vs. 1.35 and 1.48 times per year), and the second greatest lake coverage (636 vs. 814 and 311 lakes). The precise LSH profiles derived from the ICESat-2 data showed that most lakes (90% of 636 lakes) had a quasi-horizontal LSH profile (measurement uncertainty <0.05 m), and special methods are needed for mountainous lakes or shallow lakes to extract precise LSHs. View Full-Text
Keywords: ICESat-2; lake and reservoir; water level; validation; SARAL; ICESat ICESat-2; lake and reservoir; water level; validation; SARAL; ICESat
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yuan, C.; Gong, P.; Bai, Y. Performance Assessment of ICESat-2 Laser Altimeter Data for Water-Level Measurement over Lakes and Reservoirs in China. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 770. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12050770

AMA Style

Yuan C, Gong P, Bai Y. Performance Assessment of ICESat-2 Laser Altimeter Data for Water-Level Measurement over Lakes and Reservoirs in China. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(5):770. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12050770

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yuan, Cui, Peng Gong, and Yuqi Bai. 2020. "Performance Assessment of ICESat-2 Laser Altimeter Data for Water-Level Measurement over Lakes and Reservoirs in China" Remote Sensing 12, no. 5: 770. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12050770

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