On the potential of current measurements by spaceborne along-track InSAR for river runoff monitoring

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The global monitoring of volume transports of large rivers is a challenging technological problem with a number of important applications. It is highly desirable to use satellite-based remote sensing techniques for consistent worldwide measurements on a regular basis. While water level measurements in rivers with spaceborne altimeters have already been demonstrated a few years ago, instruments for routine current measurements from space have not been available until now. This will change with the advent of along-track interferometric synthetic aperture radars (along-track InSARs) on upcoming satellites such as the German TerraSAR-X, which is scheduled for launch in 2006. In this paper we evaluate the potential of such instruments for current measurements in rivers. We consider fundamental theoretical issues as well as existing InSAR data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and numerical simulation results. We find that currents in the Elbe river estuary (Germany) can be derived from SRTM data quite well. A similar data quality is predicted for TerraSAR-X. We discuss the potential of TerraSAR-X for routine current measurements in rivers and propose (he development of a comprehensive data synthesis system which combines water level and current data from satellites and other sources in such a way that a maximum amount of information on rivers is obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOceans 2005 - Europe
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventOceans 2005 - Europe - Brest, France
Duration: Jun 20 2005Jun 23 2005

Publication series

NameOceans 2005 - Europe


OtherOceans 2005 - Europe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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