Satellite altimetry over rivers: from the data processing to thematic applications, with focus on the Amazon basin
Event: 2014 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting
Session: OSTST Opening Plenary Session
Presentation type: Type Keynote/invited
Contribution: PDF file
The use of satellite altimetry for hydrological applications, either it is basin management or hydrological modelling really started with the 21st century. Before, during two decades, the efforts were concentrated on the data processing until a precision of a few decimeters could be achieved. Today, several web sites distribute hundreds of series spread over hundeds of rivers runing in the major basins of the world. Among these, the Amazon basin has been the most widely studied. Satellite altimetry is now routinely used in this transboundary basin to publish NRT alert bulletins or predicted discharges ranging over 4 orders of magnitude. In a few years, satellite altimetry should evolve dramatically with the launch of the Sentinel-3 satellites operating in SAR mode and the launch of SWOT working in interferrometric mode. With SAR, the accuracy and resolution of a growing number of measurements should be improved, and SWOT will provide a full coverage that will join in a unique framework all the previous and forthcoming missions. These technical and thematical evolutions will be illustrated by examples taken in the Amazon basin.