Hydrological monitoring of wetland areas using SAR techniques (Hydro-SAR)

The complex mechanisms that determine the water cycles regimes inside a wetland area are difficult to be understood, due to several factors such as the lack of consistent time series of in-situ measurements and the remote character of the study area, which makes the acquisition of in-situ observations not an easy task. One solution to these problems can be the use of satellite data coming not only from optical sensors, but also from microwave based platforms. The synergy between the two sources of information can bring new insights upon the hydrological dynamics in the Danube Delta.

Hydro-SAR is a Wetland Water Monitoring (WWM) prototype service based on optical and SAR imagery and InSAR techniques, developed by TERRASIGNA, under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).

The following products are envisaged to be developed for Danube Delta area: water extent maps, water flow directions maps and water level changes maps.

It can prove important contribution to the field of Hydrology by providing information about surface water extent and dynamics in Danube Delta. Mapping and monitoring are necessary tasks to consider for proper environmental management and preservation.

In order to provide the final products, our team:

  • develops operational methods for mapping surface water extent (including flooded vegetation) in wetlands;
  • determines relative and absolute water level changes in vegetated wetlands using InSAR and in-situ measurements;
  • elaborates a model for water dynamics in Danube Delta, based on InSAR and in-situ measurements.

Hydro-SAR service addresses the current EO market in Romania and Europe. The WWM service is highly adaptive and is meant to be provided for any similar wetland.