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Special Issue "Application of Remote Sensing in Hydrological Modeling and Watershed Management"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018) | Viewed by 31540

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Cuizhen (Susan) Wang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Interests: bio-environmental remote sensing; environmental modeling; coastal wetlands; sUAS
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Fei Yuan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN 56001, USA
Interests: remote sensing; GIS; resource mapping; monitoring; management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Satellite and airborne remote sensing provides rich spatial information about our ever-changing Earth surfaces. Such information presents an unprecedented opportunity to advance our understanding of hydrological processes and their environmental impacts in the past decades. Natural and human-induced changes of hydrological conditions have led to various environmental concerns, such as degraded water quality, increased soil erosion, and altered natural stream networks and riparian corridors. Assisted with remote sensing data, geospatial tools have been developed and spatially explicit information has been extracted for hydrological monitoring and watershed management.

This Special Issue solicits papers about recent advances of remote sensing in hydro-environmental assessment. We invite submissions addressing various hydro-environmental problems by means of image analysis and/or hydrologic modeling. Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to:

  • Multi-temporal image analysis for water resources
  • Hydrologic modeling
  • Riparian corridor mapping
  • Environmentally sensitive lands
  • Soil erosion and sediment
  • Water availability and quality assessment
  • Watershed management

Authors are required to check and follow the specific Instructions to Authors, https://www.mdpi.com/journal/remotesensing/instructions.

Dr. Cuizhen (Susan) Wang
Prof. Dr. Fei Yuan
Prof. Dr. Changshan Wu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Article
Monitoring 40-Year Lake Area Changes of the Qaidam Basin, Tibetan Plateau, Using Landsat Time Series
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(3), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11030343 - 09 Feb 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2397
Abstract
Areal changes of high-altitude inland lakes on the Qaidam Basin (QB) of the Tibetan Plateau are reliable indicators of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance. Due to the physical difficulties to access, our knowledge of the spatial patterns and processes of climatic and human [...] Read more.
Areal changes of high-altitude inland lakes on the Qaidam Basin (QB) of the Tibetan Plateau are reliable indicators of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance. Due to the physical difficulties to access, our knowledge of the spatial patterns and processes of climatic and human impacts on the Basin has been limited. Focusing on lake area changes, this study used long-term Landsat images to map the patterns of lakes and glaciers in 1977, 1990, 2000, and 2015, and to monitor the spatially explicit changes of lakes between 1977 and 2015. Results revealed that the total number of lakes (area > 0.5 km2) increased by 18, while their total area expanded by 29.8%, from 1761.5 ± 88.1 km2 to 2285.9 ± 91.4 km2. Meanwhile, glaciers have decreased in area by 259.16 km2 in the past four decades. The structural equation model (SEM) was applied to examine the integrative effects of natural and anthropogenic factors on lake area. Precipitation change exhibited the most significant influence on lake area in the QB from 1977 to 2000, while human activities also played an important role in the expansion of lakes in the QB in the period 2000–2015. In particular, extensive exploitation of salt lakes as mining resources resulted in severe changes in lake area and landscape. The continuously expanding salt lakes inundated the road infrastructure nearby, posing great threats to road safety. This study shed new light on the impacts of recent environmental changes and human interventions on lakes in the Qaidam Basin, which could assist policy-making for protecting the lakes and for strengthening the ecological improvement of this vast, arid basin. Full article
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Article
Satellite-Based Water Consumption Dynamics Monitoring in an Extremely Arid Area
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1399; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091399 - 02 Sep 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2205
Abstract
Evapotranspiration (ET) involves actual water consumption directly from the land surface; however, regional ET maps are usually neglected during water management and allocation. In this study, an integrated satellite-based ET monitoring approach with two spatial resolutions is proposed over an extremely arid basin [...] Read more.
Evapotranspiration (ET) involves actual water consumption directly from the land surface; however, regional ET maps are usually neglected during water management and allocation. In this study, an integrated satellite-based ET monitoring approach with two spatial resolutions is proposed over an extremely arid basin in China that has experienced crop area expansion and has been the focus of a water-saving project since 2012. The proposed ETWatch approach combined with an empirical downscaling strategy based on vegetation condition was employed to produce monthly ET maps. This method achieves satisfactory accuracy and is validated by its reasonable spatial and temporal pattern results. Yearly results exhibit an increasing ET trend before 2012, which subsequently gradually decrease. This trend fits well with the dynamics of the basin-wide vegetation condition, indicating that there is a stronger correlation between water consumption and vegetation than between other environmental indicators. The average ET over three main crop types in the region (grape, cotton, and melon) decreased by approximately 5% due to optimizations of the irrigation timeline during the project, while 13% of the water savings can be attributed to the fallowing of crop areas. Based on the irrigation distribution in 2012, a comparison between drip and border irrigation that achieves water savings of 3.6% from grape and 5.8% from cotton is conducted. However, an afforestation project that involved planting young trees led to an approximate 25% increase in water consumption. Overall, since 2012, the water-saving project has achieved satisfactory performance regarding excessive groundwater withdrawal, showing a reduction trend of 3 million m3/year and an increase in Lake Aiding water levels since 2011. The results reveal the potential of the ET monitoring strategy as a basis for basin-scale water management. Full article
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Article
An Improved Method for Impervious Surface Mapping Incorporating LiDAR Data and High-Resolution Imagery at Different Acquisition Times
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1349; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091349 - 24 Aug 2018
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2675
Abstract
Impervious surface mapping incorporating high-resolution remote sensing imagery has continued to attract increasing interest, as it can provide detailed information about urban structure and distribution. Previous studies have suggested that the combination of LiDAR data and high-resolution imagery for impervious surface mapping yields [...] Read more.
Impervious surface mapping incorporating high-resolution remote sensing imagery has continued to attract increasing interest, as it can provide detailed information about urban structure and distribution. Previous studies have suggested that the combination of LiDAR data and high-resolution imagery for impervious surface mapping yields better performance than the use of high-resolution imagery alone. However, due to LiDAR data’s high cost of acquisition, it is difficult to obtain LiDAR data that was acquired at the same time as the high-resolution imagery in order to conduct impervious surface mapping by multi-sensor remote sensing data. Consequently, the occurrence of real landscape changes between multi-sensor remote sensing data sets with different acquisition times results in misclassification errors in impervious surface mapping. This issue has generally been neglected in previous works. Furthermore, observation differences that were generated from multi-sensor data—including the problems of misregistration, missing data in LiDAR data, and shadow in high-resolution images—also present obstacles to achieving the final mapping result in the fusion of LiDAR data and high-resolution images. In order to resolve these issues, we propose an improved impervious surface-mapping method incorporating both LiDAR data and high-resolution imagery with different acquisition times that consider real landscape changes and observation differences. In the proposed method, multi-sensor change detection by supervised multivariate alteration detection (MAD) is employed to identify the changed areas and mis-registered areas. The no-data areas in the LiDAR data and the shadow areas in the high-resolution image are extracted via independent classification based on the corresponding single-sensor data. Finally, an object-based post-classification fusion is proposed that takes advantage of both independent classification results while using single-sensor data and the joint classification result using stacked multi-sensor data. The impervious surface map is subsequently obtained by combining the landscape classes in the accurate classification map. Experiments covering the study site in Buffalo, NY, USA demonstrate that our method can accurately detect landscape changes and unambiguously improve the performance of impervious surface mapping. Full article
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Article
Impacts of Agricultural Expansion (1910s–2010s) on the Water Cycle in the Songneng Plain, Northeast China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10071108 - 12 Jul 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2012
Abstract
Agricultural expansion is one of the primary land use changes on the Earth’s surface. The Songnen Plain in Northeast China is renowned for its Black Soil and is one of the most important agricultural regions of this country. In the last century, its [...] Read more.
Agricultural expansion is one of the primary land use changes on the Earth’s surface. The Songnen Plain in Northeast China is renowned for its Black Soil and is one of the most important agricultural regions of this country. In the last century, its population increased 20-fold and excessive areas of grassland were cultivated. Based on a series of decadal land use/land cover data sets in the plain (1910s–2010s), this study simulated the water balance in each decade using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and assessed the water effects of centurial agricultural expansion. Six variables were simulated to explain the land-atmosphere interaction: precipitation, total evapotranspiration, canopy transpiration, canopy interception evaporation, land evaporation and land surface runoff and infiltration. Agreeing with historical climate reanalysis data, the simulated precipitation in the plain did not have a significant trend. However, the total evapotranspiration significantly increased in the study region. The canopy transpiration and interception evaporation increased and the runoff and infiltration decreased, both indicating a drought effect in soil. The drying trend varied spatially with the strongest pattern in the central plain where large areas of wetlands remain. As a consequence of agricultural expansion, the centurial drying process in the fertile Black Soil may put strong pressure on the crop productivity and food safety of this important agricultural region. Full article
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Article
Spatial Assessment of Water Quality with Urbanization in 2007–2015, Shanghai, China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10071024 - 27 Jun 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2480
Abstract
Shanghai, as one of the megacities and economic centers of China, is facing critical water quality challenges. This study analyzed the impact of urbanization on the water quality in Shanghai, from 2007 to 2015, using remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) [...] Read more.
Shanghai, as one of the megacities and economic centers of China, is facing critical water quality challenges. This study analyzed the impact of urbanization on the water quality in Shanghai, from 2007 to 2015, using remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) techniques. Five measurements of water quality were employed: total discharged wastewater volume, general water quality levels, dissolved oxygen (DO), permanganate, and ammonia nitrogen. The impacts of urban land-use changes on water quality were examined. An urban index was extracted from satellite image classification and was used to quantify the anthropogenic activities. In the watershed level, unit watersheds were delineated from topography and stream segments. Results showed that the primary contributors of water quality degradation in Shanghai were DO and ammonia nitrogen. Both indicators expressed clear seasonal patterns that can be explained by agricultural activities and urbanization processes in Shanghai during the study period. Water quality was also regulated through water use policies. For example, the degraded water quality in suburban outskirts and improved water quality was achieved through the enforced wastewater discharge regulations in central Shanghai. Analytical findings provide spatially explicit information for governmental management on protecting water resources and controlling wastewater emissions, thus, improving the quality of living environments in this ever-growing megacity. Full article
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Article
Hydro-Meteorological Assessment of Three GPM Satellite Precipitation Products in the Kelantan River Basin, Malaysia
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10071011 - 25 Jun 2018
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 2902
Abstract
The rapid development of Satellite Precipitation Products (SPPs) has heightened the need for a hydro-meteorological assessment of the Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG) products in different climate and geographical regions. Reliability of the IMERG early (IMERG_E), late (IMERG_L) and final [...] Read more.
The rapid development of Satellite Precipitation Products (SPPs) has heightened the need for a hydro-meteorological assessment of the Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG) products in different climate and geographical regions. Reliability of the IMERG early (IMERG_E), late (IMERG_L) and final (IMERG_F) run products in precipitation estimations was evaluated over the Kelantan River Basin, Malaysia from 12 March 2014 to 31 December 2016. The three IMERG products were then incorporated into a calibrated Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to assess their reliability in streamflow simulations. Overall, monthly precipitation variability is well captured by the three SPPs. The IMERG_F exhibited a smaller systematic bias (RB = 7.14%) compared to the IMERG_E (RB = −10.42%) and IMERG_L (RB = −17.92%) in daily precipitation measurement. All the three SPPs (NSE = 0.66~0.71 and R2 = 0.73~0.75) performed comparably well as precipitation gauges (NSE = 0.74 and R2 = 0.79) in the daily streamflow simulation. However, the IMERG_E and IMERG_L showed a significant underestimation of daily streamflow by 27.6% and 36.3%, respectively. The IMERG_E and IMERG_F performed satisfactory in streamflow simulation during the 2014–2015 flood period, with NSE and R2 values of 0.5~0.51 and 0.62~0.65, respectively. With a better peak flow capture ability, the IMERG_F outperformed the near real-time products in cumulative streamflow measurement. The study has also shown that the point-to-pixel or pixel-to-pixel comparison schemes gave comparable conclusions. Future work should focus on the development of a standardized GPM hydro-meteorological assessment framework, so that a fair comparison among IMERG validation studies can be conducted. Full article
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Article
Hydrological Regime Monitoring and Mapping of the Zhalong Wetland through Integrating Time Series Radarsat-2 and Landsat Imagery
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050702 - 04 May 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2261
Abstract
Zhalong wetland is a globally important breeding habitat for many rare migratory bird species. Prompted by the high demand for temporal and spatial information about the wetland’s hydrological regimes and landscape patterns, eight time series Radarsat-2 images were utilized to detect the flooding [...] Read more.
Zhalong wetland is a globally important breeding habitat for many rare migratory bird species. Prompted by the high demand for temporal and spatial information about the wetland’s hydrological regimes and landscape patterns, eight time series Radarsat-2 images were utilized to detect the flooding characteristics of the Zhalong wetland. Subsequently, a random forest model was built to discriminate wetlands from other land cover types, combining with optical, radar, and hydrological regime data derived from multitemporal synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images. The results showed that hydrological regimes variables, including flooding extent and flooding frequency, derived from multitemporal SAR images, improve the land cover classification accuracy in the natural wetlands distribution area. The permutation importance scores derived from the random forest classifier indicate that normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) calculated from optical imagery and the flooding frequency derived from multitemporal SAR imagery were found to be the most important variables for land cover mapping. Accuracy testing indicate that the addition of hydrological regime features effectively depressed the omission error rates (from 52.14% to 2.88%) of marsh and the commission error (from 77.34% to 51.27%) of meadow, thereby improving the overall classification accuracy (from 76.49% to 91.73%). The hydrological regimes and land cover monitoring in the typical wetlands are important for eco-hydrological modeling, biodiversity conservation, and regional ecology and water security. Full article
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Article
Examining the Effects of Hydropower Station Construction on the Surface Temperature of the Jinsha River Dry-Hot Valley at Different Seasons
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040600 - 12 Apr 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2074
Abstract
On the completion of a large-scale hydropower station, the change of the water area can cause a corresponding change of local weather. To examine such changes, this paper analyzed the effect of the reservoir in the head area of the Xiluodu hydropower station [...] Read more.
On the completion of a large-scale hydropower station, the change of the water area can cause a corresponding change of local weather. To examine such changes, this paper analyzed the effect of the reservoir in the head area of the Xiluodu hydropower station based on the temperature data of MODIS MYD11A2. The temperature differences (TD) between various locations in the study area and the reservoir were calculated to explore the TD in different seasons. The reservoir effect change intensity (RECI) was established to explore the impact of the reservoir on local weather changes in different flood seasons. The combination of the TD and RECI was applied to explore the role of the hydropower station in regulating the temperature of the surrounding reservoir. The results showed the following: (1) after hydropower station construction (HSC), the TD in the valleys decreased and the TD in the dry season was lower than that in the wet season; (2) the RECI had different distribution characteristics in different flood seasons of the reservoir, and the RECI was stronger in the wet season than that in the dry season; and (3) unlike in the plains, cooling and warming effects existed simultaneously in different parts of the mountains. Full article
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Article
Impacts of Climate Change on Tibetan Lakes: Patterns and Processes
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(3), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10030358 - 26 Feb 2018
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 5687
Abstract
High-altitude inland-drainage lakes on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), the earth’s third pole, are very sensitive to climate change. Tibetan lakes are important natural resources with important religious, historical, and cultural significance. However, the spatial patterns and processes controlling the impacts of climate and [...] Read more.
High-altitude inland-drainage lakes on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), the earth’s third pole, are very sensitive to climate change. Tibetan lakes are important natural resources with important religious, historical, and cultural significance. However, the spatial patterns and processes controlling the impacts of climate and associated changes on Tibetan lakes are largely unknown. This study used long time series and multi-temporal Landsat imagery to map the patterns of Tibetan lakes and glaciers in 1977, 1990, 2000, and 2014, and further to assess the spatiotemporal changes of lakes and glaciers in 17 TP watersheds between 1977 and 2014. Spatially variable changes in lake and glacier area as well as climatic factors were analyzed. We identified four modes of lake change in response to climate and associated changes. Lake expansion was predominantly attributed to increased precipitation and glacier melting, whereas lake shrinkage was a main consequence of a drier climate or permafrost degradation. These findings shed new light on the impacts of recent environmental changes on Tibetan lakes. They suggest that protecting these high-altitude lakes in the face of further environmental change will require spatially variable policies and management measures. Full article
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Article
Remote-Sensing Hydraulic Characterization of Channel Habitat Units in a Tropical Montane River: Bladen River, Belize
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1295; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121295 - 12 Dec 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2667
Abstract
The physical characteristics of river systems exert significant control on the habitat for aquatic species, including the distribution of in-stream channel habitat units. Most previous studies on channel habitat units have focused on midlatitude rivers, which differ in several substantive ways from tropical [...] Read more.
The physical characteristics of river systems exert significant control on the habitat for aquatic species, including the distribution of in-stream channel habitat units. Most previous studies on channel habitat units have focused on midlatitude rivers, which differ in several substantive ways from tropical rivers. Field delineation of channel habitat units is especially challenging in tropical rivers, many of which are remote and difficult to access. Here, we developed an approach for delineating channel habitat units based on a combination of field measurements, remote sensing, and hydraulic modeling, and applied it to a 4.1-km segment of the Bladen River in southern Belize. We found that the most prevalent channel habitat unit on the study segment was runs, followed by pools and riffles. Average spacing of channel habitat units was up to twice as high on the study segment than the typical values reported for midlatitude rivers, possibly because of high erosion rates in the tropical environment. The approach developed here can be applied to other rivers to build understanding of the controls on and spatial distribution of channel habitat units on tropical rivers and to support river management and conservation goals. Full article
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Article
Assessment of the Hydro-Ecological Impacts of the Three Gorges Dam on China’s Largest Freshwater Lake
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(10), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9101069 - 20 Oct 2017
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3386
Abstract
The Three Gorges Dam (TGD) has received increasing attention with respect to its potential effects on downstream hydro-ecosystems. Poyang Lake is the largest freshwater lake downstream of the TGD, and it is not immune to these impacts. Here, we combine hydrological observations, remote [...] Read more.
The Three Gorges Dam (TGD) has received increasing attention with respect to its potential effects on downstream hydro-ecosystems. Poyang Lake is the largest freshwater lake downstream of the TGD, and it is not immune to these impacts. Here, we combine hydrological observations, remote sensing, a geographic information system (GIS), and landscape ecology technology to investigate the variability and spatial pattern of the hydro-ecological alterations to Poyang Lake induced by the operation of the TGD. It was found that the TGD caused significant hydro-ecological alterations across the Poyang Lake wetland. Specifically, the TGD operation altered the seasonal inundation pattern of Poyang Lake and significantly reduced the monthly inundation frequencies (IFs), which were especially notable (~30–40%) from September to November. Spatially, the declining IFs led to an increase in the mudflat area that is suitable for the growth of vegetation. The vegetation area increased by 58.82 km2 and 463.73 km2 in the low- and high-water season, respectively, with the most significant changes occurring in the estuary delta of the Ganjiang and Raohe rivers. The results also indicated that the changes in the inundation pattern and floodplain vegetation have profoundly altered the structure and composition of the wetland, which has resulted in increased landscape diversity and a gradual increase in the complexity of the ecosystem composition under the influence of regulation of the TGD. Such results are of great importance for policymakers, as they may provide a reference for wetland water resource planning and landscape restoration in an operational dam environment. Full article
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