Remote Sensing of Storage Fluctuations of Poorly Gauged Reservoirs and State Space Model (SSM)-Based Estimation

Alka Singh, Ujjwal Kumar, Florian Seitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


To reduce hydrological uncertainties in the regular monitoring of poorly gauged lakes and reservoirs, multi-dimensional remote sensing data have emerged as an excellent alternative. In this paper, we propose three methods to delineate the volume of such equipotential water bodies through a combination of altimetry (1D), Landsat (2D) and bathymetry (2D) data, namely an altimetry-bathymetry-volume method (ABV), a Landsat-bathymetry-volume method (LBV) and an altimetry-Landsat-volume-variation method (ALVV). The first two data products are further merged by a Kalman-filter-based state space model (SSM) to obtain a combined estimate (CSSME) time series and near future prediction. To validate our methods, we tested them on the well-measured Lake Mead and further applied them on the poorly gauged Aral Sea, which has inaccurate bathymetry and very limited ground observation data. We updated the lake bathymetry of the Aral Sea, which was more than half a century old. The resultant remote sensing products have a very good long-term agreement among each other. The Lake Mead volume estimations are very highly coherent with the ground observations for all cases (R2 > 0.96 and NRMSE < 2.1%), except for the forecast (R2 = 0.75 and NRMSE = 3.7%). Due to lack of in situ data for the Aral Sea, the estimated volumes are compared, and the entire Aral Sea LBV and ABV have R2 = 0.91 and NRMSE = 5.5%, and the forecast compared to CSSME has R2 = 0.60 and NRMSE = 2.4%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17113-17134
Number of pages22
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Aral Sea
  • Lake Mead
  • Landsat
  • altimetry
  • lakes and reservoirs
  • remote sensing product
  • state space model (SSM)
  • water storage


Dive into the research topics of 'Remote Sensing of Storage Fluctuations of Poorly Gauged Reservoirs and State Space Model (SSM)-Based Estimation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this