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Open AccessArticle

Monitoring Variations in Lake Water Storage with Satellite Imagery and Citizen Science

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Department of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
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Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
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Department of Computer Science, Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, TN 38505, USA
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Institute for the Environment, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
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UMR5566 CNRS-CNES-IRD-Université de Toulouse III, 31400 Toulouse, France
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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI 53703, USA
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Citizen Scientist, Sammamish, WA 98074, USA
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Citizen Scientist, Harrells, NC 28444, USA
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Citizen Scientist, Lindenhurst, IL 60046, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Dariusz Wrzesiński and Leszek Sobkowiak
Water 2021, 13(7), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070949
Received: 15 January 2021 / Revised: 15 March 2021 / Accepted: 20 March 2021 / Published: 30 March 2021
Despite lakes being a key part of the global water cycle and a crucial water resource, there is limited understanding of whether regional or lake-specific factors control water storage variations in small lakes. Here, we study groups of small, unregulated lakes in North Carolina, Washington, Illinois, and Wisconsin, USA using lake level measurements gathered by citizen scientists and lake surface area measurements from optical satellite imagery. We show the lake level measurements to be highly accurate when compared to automated gauges (mean absolute error = 1.6 cm). We compare variations in lake water storage between pairs of lakes within these four states. On average, water storage variations in lake pairs across all study regions are moderately positively correlated (ρ = 0.49) with substantial spread in the degree of correlation. The distance between lake pairs and the extent to which their changes in volume are correlated show a weak but statistically significant negative relationship. Our results indicate that, on regional scales, distance is not a primary factor governing lake water storage patterns, which suggests that other, perhaps lakes-specific, factors must also play important roles. View Full-Text
Keywords: lake water storage; water level fluctuations; remote sensing; citizen science lake water storage; water level fluctuations; remote sensing; citizen science
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MDPI and ACS Style

Little, S.; Pavelsky, T.M.; Hossain, F.; Ghafoor, S.; Parkins, G.M.; Yelton, S.K.; Rodgers, M.; Yang, X.; Crétaux, J.-F.; Hein, C.; Ullah, M.A.; Lina, D.H.; Thiede, H.; Kelly, D.; Wilson, D.; Topp, S.N. Monitoring Variations in Lake Water Storage with Satellite Imagery and Citizen Science. Water 2021, 13, 949. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070949

AMA Style

Little S, Pavelsky TM, Hossain F, Ghafoor S, Parkins GM, Yelton SK, Rodgers M, Yang X, Crétaux J-F, Hein C, Ullah MA, Lina DH, Thiede H, Kelly D, Wilson D, Topp SN. Monitoring Variations in Lake Water Storage with Satellite Imagery and Citizen Science. Water. 2021; 13(7):949. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070949

Chicago/Turabian Style

Little, Sarina; Pavelsky, Tamlin M.; Hossain, Faisal; Ghafoor, Sheikh; Parkins, Grant M.; Yelton, Sarah K.; Rodgers, Megan; Yang, Xiao; Crétaux, Jean-François; Hein, Catherine; Ullah, Mohammad A.; Lina, Debolina H.; Thiede, Hanne; Kelly, Darren; Wilson, Donald; Topp, Simon N. 2021. "Monitoring Variations in Lake Water Storage with Satellite Imagery and Citizen Science" Water 13, no. 7: 949. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070949

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