Retrieval of Simultaneous Water-Level Changes in Small Lakes With InSAR

Summary

Monitoring water level changes is necessary to manage, conserve and restore natural, and anthropogenic lake systems. However, the in-situ monitoring of lake systems is unfeasible due to limitations of costs and access. Furthermore, current remote sensing methods are restricted to large lakes and low spatial resolutions. We develop a novel approach using subsequential pixel-wise observations of the Sentinel-1B sensor based on interferometric synthetic aperture radar to detect water level changes in small lakes. We used 24 small ungauged lakes of the Cajas Massif lake system in Ecuador for development and validation. We found Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR)-derived water level changes across lakes to be consistent with precipitation, capturing the peak of the wet seasons. Furthermore, accumulated water level changes could be explained by differences in lake area among lakes. Although with limitations, this study shows the underutilized potential of DInSAR to understand water level changes in small lakes with current radar data availability.

Information

Publication info: Palomino‐Ángel, S., Vázquez, R.F., Hampel, H., Anaya, J.A., Mosquera, P.V., Lyon, S.W. & Jaramillo, F. 2021. Retrieval of Simultaneous Water‐Level Changes in Small Lakes With InSAR. Geophysical Research Letters doi.org/10.1029/2021GL095950

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