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Use of SARAL/AltiKa Observations for Modeling River Flow

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In the absence of many gauging stations in the major and mighty river systems, there is a need for satellite-based observations to estimate temporal variations in the river water storage and associated water management. In this study, SARAL/AltiKa application for setting up hydraulic model (HEC-RAS) and river flow simulations over Tapi River India has been discussed. Waveform data of 40 Hz from Ka band altimeter has been used for water levels retrieval in the Tapi river. SARAL/AltiKa retrieved water levels were converted to discharge in the upstream location (track-926) using the rating curve available for the nearby gauging site and using linear spatial interpolation technique. Steady state simulations were done for various flow conditions in the upstream. Validation of river flow model was done in the downstream location (track-367) by comparing simulated and altimeter retrieved water levels (RMSE 0.67 m). Validated model was used to develop rating curve between water levels and simulated discharge for the downstream location which enables to monitor discharge variations from satellite platform in the absence of in situ observations. It has been demonstrated that SARAL/AltiKa data has potential for river flow monitoring and modeling which will feed for flood disaster forecasting, management and planning.
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Keywords: HEC-RAS; Satellite altimetry; river flow modeling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Space Applications Centre, Environment and Hydrology, Ahmedabad, India 2: Gujrat University, Ahmedabad, India

Publication date: September 10, 2015

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