Application of the inundation area - lake level rating curves constructed from the SRTM DEM to retrieving lake levels from satellite measured inundation areas
Pan, F., J. Liao, X. Li, and H. Guo, 2012: “Application of the inundation area - lake level rating curves constructed from the SRTM DEM to retrieving lake levels from satellite measured inundation areas.” Computers and Geosciences, doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2012.09.024.
Remote sensing technology has great potential for measuring lake inundation areas and lake levels, and providing important lake water quantity and quality information which can be used for improving our understanding of climate change impacts on the global water cycle, and assessing the influence of the projected future climate change on the global water resources. One remote sensing approach is to estimate lake level from satellite measured inundation area based on the inundation area – lake level rating (IALLR) curves. However, this approach is not easy to implement because of a lack of data for constructing the IALLR curves. In this study, an innovative and robust approach to construct the IALLR curves from the digital elevation model (DEM) data collected during the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) was developed and tested. It was shown that the IALLR curves derived from the SRTM DEM data could be used to retrieve lake level from satellite measured inundation area. Applying the constructed IALLR curves to the estimated inundation areas from 16 Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images, 16 lake levels of Lake Champlain in Vermont were obtained. The root mean square error (RMSE) of the estimated lake levels compared to the observed water levels at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) gauging station (04294500) at Burlington, Vermont is about 0.12 m.