A novel algorithm for monitoring reservoirs under all-weather conditions at a high temporal resolution through passive microwave remote sensing Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Flood mitigation in developing countries has been hindered by a lack of near real-time reservoir storage information at high temporal resolution. By leveraging satellite passive microwave observations over a reservoir and its vicinity, we present a globally applicable new algorithm to estimate reservoir storage under all-weather conditions at a 4 day time step. A weighted horizontal ratio (WHR) based on the brightness temperatures at 36.5 GHz is introduced, with its coefficients calibrated against an area training data set over each reservoir. Using a predetermined area-elevation (A-H) relationship, these coefficients are then applied to the microwave data to calculate the storage. Validation results over four reservoirs in South Asia indicate that the microwave-based storage estimations (after noise reduction) perform well (with coefficients of determination ranging from 0.41 to 0.74). This is the first time that passive microwave observations are fused with other satellite data for quantifying the storage of individual reservoirs.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, S., & Gao, H.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Shuai||Gao, Huilin

publication date

  • August 2016