Use of Modis Satellite Images for Detailed Lake Morphometry: Application to Basins with Large Water Level Fluctuations

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Bathymetry, Digital depth model, Lake bed, Lake bottom, Remote sensing, Sedimentation

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Lake morphometry is essential for managing water resources and limnetic ecosystems. For reservoirs that receive high sediment loads, frequent morphometric mapping is necessary to define both the effective life of the reservoir and its water storage capacity for irrigation, power generation, flood control and domestic water supply. The current study presents a methodology for updating the digital depth model (DDM) of lakes and reservoirs with wide intra and interannual fluctuations of water levels using satellite remote sensing. A time series of Terra MODIS satellite images was used to map shorelines formed during the annual water level change cycle, and were validated with concurrent Landsat ETM+ satellite images. The shorelines were connected with in-situ observation of water levels and were treated as elevation contours to produce the DDM using spatial interpolation. The accuracy of the digitized shorelines is within the mapping accuracy of the satellite images, while the resulting DDM is validated using in-situ elevation measurements. Two versions of the DDM were produced to assess the influence of seasonal water fluctuation. Finally, the methodology was applied to Lake Kerkini (Greece) to produce an updated DDM, which was compared with the last available bathymetric survey (1991) and revealed changes in sediment distribution within the lake.

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International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, v. 51, p. 37-46