Estimating Reservoir Release Using Multi‐Source Satellite Datasets and Hydrological Modeling Techniques

Youjiang Shen, Dedi Liu*, Liguang Jiang, Christian Tøttrup, Daniel Druce, Jiabo Yin, Karina Nielsen, Peter Bauer‐gottwein, Jun Wang, Xin Zhao

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Reservoir release is an essential variable as it affects hydrological processes and water availability downstream. This study aims to estimate reservoir release using a satellite‐based approach, specially focusing on the impacts of inflow simulations and reservoir water storage change (RWSC) on release estimates. Ten inflow simulations based on hydrological models and blending schemes are used in combination with three RWSC estimates based on two satellite‐based approaches. A case study is performed at the Ankang reservoir, China. The results demonstrate that release estimates show high skill, with normalized root‐mean‐square error (NRMSE) less than 0.12 and Kling‐Gupta Efficiency (KGE) over 0.65. The performance of release estimates is varying with and influenced by inflow simulations and RWSC estimates, with NRMSE ranging from 0.09–0.12 and KGE from 0.65–0.74. Based on time‐varying Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) approaches and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite datasets, more accurate inflow and RWSC estimates can be obtained, thus facilitating substantially release estimates. With multi‐source satellite datasets, temporal scale of reservoir estimates is increased (monthly and bi‐weekly), acting as a key supplement to in situ records. Overall, this study explores the possibility to reconstruct and facilitate reservoir release estimates in poorly gauged dammed basins using hydrological modeling techniques and multi‐source satellite datasets.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number815
    JournalRemote Sensing
    Issue number4
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


    • BMA
    • Hydrological models
    • Reservoir release
    • SAR
    • Satellite altimetry
    • Satellite imagery


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