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Validation of the altimetry-based water levels from Sentinel-3A and B in the Inner Niger Delta

Abstract : The comprehension of water level fluctuations and the sustainability of the Inner Niger River Delta (IND) is a major concern for the scientific community, but also for the local population. Located in the centre of Mali, the heart of the Sahel, the delta is characterised by a floodable area of more than 32 000 km2 during the rainy season, which contributes very strongly to the vitality of local ecosystem, and is consequently classified as a Ramsar site under the international Convention for Wetlands. In addition, the Delta acts as an environmental and socio-economic development barometer for the entire sub-region. Nowadays, we can observe an increasing fragility of the delta due to climate change, desertification and human activities, and justifies the need for permanent monitoring. The present study is based on the recent successes of radar altimetry, originally designed to monitor the dynamics topography of the ocean, and now very frequently used to retrieve inland water levels, of lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Previous studies evaluated the performances of several radar altimetry missions including Low Resolution Mode (LRM) (Topex-Poseidon, Jason-1/2/3, ERS-2, ENVISAT, and SARAL, and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Sentinel-3A missions for water level retrievals over 1992-2017. More than 50 times series of water levels were build at the crossing between water bodies and Sentinel-3A and 3B over 2016-2020. Twenty-four comparisons between in-situ and altimetry-based time-series of water levels were achieved over the IND. RMSE generally lower than 0.7 m and r higher than 0.9 were obtained.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 16, 2022 - 3:01:40 PM
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Adama Telly Diepkilé, Flavien Egon, Fabien Blarel, Eric Mougin, Frédéric Frappart. Validation of the altimetry-based water levels from Sentinel-3A and B in the Inner Niger Delta. Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, 2021, 384, pp.31-35. ⟨10.5194/piahs-384-31-2021⟩. ⟨insu-03669210⟩

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