GEO Business 2014

Using Satellite Altimetry to Measure Water Height in Estuaries, Rivers and Lakes.

Traditionally, measuring water heights has required gauges involving installation and maintenance. This can be both time consuming and expensive, especially when monitoring large areas or remote locations. An alternative approach is the use of space-based data such as satellite altimetry, which utilises short bursts of microwave energy transmitted from the satellite towards the ground and records the strength and origin of the reflected response.

This data set can have a high precision, being able to calculate heights to the sub-metre scale when all the corrections are applied, and is unaffected by cloud cover. In addition, as modern altimetry satellites have been collecting data for over twenty years then it’s possible to construct a historical time series of heights in addition to processing real-time data going forward.

The presentation showcases recent work and how this methodology can be applied to provide time series datasets where water height gauges do not exist or the data is difficult to obtain. This has the potential to save organisations both time and money by providing high quality datasets for sites of interest.

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