On the contribution of satellite altimetry-derived water surface elevation to hydrodynamic model calibration in the Han river

Youjiang Shen, Dedi Liu*, Liguang Jiang, Jiabo Yin, Karina Nielsen, Peter Bauer-Gottwein*, Shenglian Guo, Jun Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

7 Downloads (Pure)


Satellite altimetry can fill the spatial gaps of in-situ gauging networks especially in poorly gauged regions. Although at a generally low temporal resolution, satellite altimetry has been successfully used for water surface elevation (WSE) estimation and hydrodynamic modeling. This study aims to investigate the contribution of WSE from both short-repeat and geodetic altimetry to hydrodynamic model calibration, and also explore the contribution of the new Sentinel-3 mission. Two types of data sources (i.e., in-situ and satellite altimetry) are investigated together with two roughness cases (i.e., spatially variable and uniform roughness) for calibration of a hydrodynamic model (DHI MIKE 11) with available bathymetry. A 150 km long reach of Han River in China with rich altimetry and in-situ gauging data is selected as a case study. Results show that the performances of the model calibrated by satellite altimetry-derived datasets are acceptable in terms of Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of simulated WSE. Sentinel-3A can support hydrodynamic model calibration even though it has a relatively low temporal resolution (27-day repeat cycle). The CryoSat-2 data with a higher spatial resolution (7.5 km at the Equator) are proved to be more valuable than the Sentinel-3A altimetry data with a low spatial resolution (104 km at the Equator) for hydrodynamic model calibration in terms of RMSE values of 0.16 and 0.18 m, respectively. Moreover, the spatially variable roughness can also improve the model performance compared to the uniform roughness case, with decreasing RMSE values by 2–14%. Our finding shows the value of satellite altimetry-derived datasets for hydrodynamic model calibration and therefore supports flood risk assessment and water resources management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4087
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number24
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • CryoSat-2
  • Hydrodynamic model
  • Roughness parameters
  • Satellite altimetry
  • Sentinel-3A

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'On the contribution of satellite altimetry-derived water surface elevation to hydrodynamic model calibration in the Han river'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this