Capability of SRTM C- and X-band DEM Data to Measure Water Elevations in Ohio and the Amazon
We analyze Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) water surface elevation data to assess the capacity of interferometric radar for future surface water missions. Elevations from three Ohio reservoirs and several Amazon floodplain lakes have standard deviations, interpreted as errors, that are smaller in C-band compared to X-band and are smaller in Ohio than in the Amazon. These trends are also evident when comparing water surface elevations from the Muskingum River in Ohio with those of the Amazon River. Differences are attributed to increased averaging in C-band compared to X-band, greater sensitivity to surface water motion in X-band, and generally larger off-nadir look angles in X-band. Absolute water surface elevations are greater in the C-band DEM for much of the two study areas and yield expected slope values. Height and slope differences are attributed to differing usage of geoids and ellipsoids. These SRTM measurements suggest the great possibility for space-based, laterally-spatial (2D) measurements of water surface elevations.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2006
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