Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Analysis of Retrackers’ Performances and Water Level Retrieval over the Ebro River Basin Using Sentinel-3

Version 1 : Received: 15 November 2018 / Approved: 19 November 2018 / Online: 19 November 2018 (06:55:41 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Gao, Q.; Makhoul, E.; Escorihuela, M.J.; Zribi, M.; Quintana Seguí, P.; García, P.; Roca, M. Analysis of Retrackers’ Performances and Water Level Retrieval over the Ebro River Basin Using Sentinel-3. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 718. Gao, Q.; Makhoul, E.; Escorihuela, M.J.; Zribi, M.; Quintana Seguí, P.; García, P.; Roca, M. Analysis of Retrackers’ Performances and Water Level Retrieval over the Ebro River Basin Using Sentinel-3. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 718.

Journal reference: Remote Sensing 2019
DOI: 10.3390/rs11060718

Abstract

Satellite altimeters have been used to monitor river and reservoir water levels, from which water storage estimates can be derived. Inland water altimetry can therefore play an important role in continental water resource management. Traditionally, satellite altimeters were designed to monitor homogeneous surfaces such as oceans or ice sheets, resulting in a poor performance over small inland water bodies due to the contribution from land contamination in the returned waveforms. The advent of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) altimetry (with its improved along-track spatial resolution) has enabled the measurement of inland water levels with a better accuracy and an increased spatial resolution. This paper presents three specialized algorithms or retrackers to retrieve water levels from SAR altimeter data over inland water bodies dedicated to minimizing land contamination from the waveforms. The performances of the proposed waveform portion selection method with three retrackers, namely, the threshold retracker, Offset Centre of Gravity (OCOG) retracker and 2-step physical-based retracker, are compared. Time series of water levels are retrieved for water bodies in the Ebro River basin (Spain). The results show good agreement with in situ measurements from the Ebro Reservoir (width is approximately 1.8 km) and Ribarroja Reservoir (width is approximately 400 m) with un-biased root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) of approximately 0.28 m and 0.16 m, respectively. The performances of all three retrackers are also compared with the European Space Agency’s ocean retracker in the Sentinel-3 Level-2 product.

Subject Areas

altimetry; retracking; Sentinel-3; synthetic aperture radar (SAR)

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