Satellite video remote sensing for estimation of river discharge

Masafu, C., Williams, R. and Hurst, M. D. (2023) Satellite video remote sensing for estimation of river discharge. Geophysical Research Letters, 50(24), e2023GL105. (doi: 10.1029/2023GL105839)

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We demonstrate that river discharge can be estimated by deriving water surface velocity estimates from satellite-derived video imagery when combined with high-resolution topography of channel geometry. Large Scale Particle Image Velocimetry (LSPIV) was used to map surface velocity from 28 s of 5 Hz satellite video acquired at a 1.2 m nominal ground spacing over the Darling River, Tilpa, Australia, during a 1-in-5-year flood. We stabilized and assessed the uncertainty of the residual motion induced by the satellite platform, enhancing our sub-pixel motion analysis, and quantified the sensitivity of image extraction rates on computed velocities. In the absence of in situ observations, LSPIV velocity estimates were validated against predictions from a calibrated 2D hydrodynamic model. Despite the confounding influence of selecting a surface velocity depth-averaging coefficient, inference of discharge was within 0.3%–15% compared with gauging station measurements. These results provide a valuable foundation for refining satellite video LSPIV techniques.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Christopher Masafu was funded by the Lord Kelvin Adam Smith (LKAS) PhD scholarship at the University of Glasgow.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Masafu, Mr Christopher and Williams, Professor Richard and Hurst, Dr Martin
Creator Roles:
Masafu, C.Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Investigation, Data curation, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing, Visualization
Williams, R.Conceptualization, Methodology, Data curation, Writing – review and editing, Supervision
Hurst, M.Writing – review and editing, Supervision
Authors: Masafu, C., Williams, R., and Hurst, M. D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Geophysical Research Letters
Publisher:Wiley for the American Geophysical Union
ISSN (Online):1944-8007
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Geophysical Research Letters 50(24):e2023GL105839
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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