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Water 2017, 9(3), 211; doi:10.3390/w9030211

CryoSat-2 Altimetry Applications over Rivers and Lakes

1
Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Bygningstorvet B115, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
2
National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Elektrovej 327, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Frédéric Frappart
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Remote Sensing in Hydrology)
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Abstract

Monitoring the variation of rivers and lakes is of great importance. Satellite radar altimetry is a promising technology to do this on a regional to global scale. Satellite radar altimetry data has been used successfully to observe water levels in lakes and (large) rivers, and has also been combined with hydrologic/hydrodynamic models. Except CryoSat-2, all radar altimetry missions have been operated in conventional low resolution mode with a short repeat orbit (35 days or less). CryoSat-2, carrying a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) altimeter, has a 369-day repeat and a drifting ground track pattern and provides new opportunities for hydrologic research. The narrow inter-track distance (7.5 km at the equator) makes it possible to monitor many lakes and rivers and SAR mode provides a finer along-track resolution, higher return power and speckle reduction through multi-looks. However, CryoSat-2 challenges conventional ways of dealing with satellite inland water altimetry data because virtual station time series cannot be directly derived for rivers. We review the CryoSat-2 mission characteristics, data products, and its use and perspectives for inland water applications. We discuss all the important steps in the workflow for hydrologic analysis with CryoSat-2, and conclude with a discussion of promising future research directions. View Full-Text
Keywords: CryoSat-2; radar altimetry; inland water altimetry; hydrology; water height CryoSat-2; radar altimetry; inland water altimetry; hydrology; water height
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Jiang, L.; Schneider, R.; Andersen, O.B.; Bauer-Gottwein, P. CryoSat-2 Altimetry Applications over Rivers and Lakes. Water 2017, 9, 211.

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