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Daily discharge estimation at ungauged river sites using remote sensing

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stephen Birkinshaw, Professor Philip Moore, Professor Chris Kilsby, Dr Greg O'Donnell, Andrew Hardy


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A methodology is developed to estimate daily river discharge at an ungauged site using remote sensing data.Use is made of ERS-2 and ENVISAT satellite altimetry to provide a time series of river channel stage levels and longitudinal channel slope and Landsat satellite imagery to provide a range of channel widths over a 50km reach of river. The data are substituted into the Bjerklie et al. (2003) equation, which is based on the Manning’s resistance equation and has been developed using a global database of channel hydraulic information and discharge measurements. Our methodology has been applied at three locations on the Mekong and Ob Rivers and validated against daily in situ discharge measurements. The results show Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency values of 0.90 at Nakhon Phanom and 0.86 at Vientiane on the Mekong, and 0.86 at Kalpashevo on the Ob.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Birkinshaw SJ, Moore P, Kilsby CG, O'Donnell GM, Hardy AJ, Berry PAM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Hydrological Processes

Year: 2014

Volume: 28

Issue: 3

Pages: 1043-1054

Print publication date: 30/01/2014

Online publication date: 17/12/2012

Acceptance date: 30/10/2012

ISSN (print): 0885-6087

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1085

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9647


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