Using radar altimetry to update a routing model of the Zambezi River Basin

Claire Irene B. Michailovsky, Peter Bauer-Gottwein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Satellite radar altimetry allows for the global monitoring of lakes and river levels. However, the widespread use of altimetry for hydrological studies is limited by the coarse temporal and spatial resolution provided by current altimetric missions and the fact that discharge rather than level is needed for hydrological applications. To overcome these limitations, altimetry river levels can be combined with hydrological modeling in a dataassimilation framework. This study focuses on the updating of a river routing model of the Zambezi using river levels from radar altimetry. A hydrological model of the basin was built to simulate the land phase of the water cycle and produce inflows to a Muskingum routing model. River altimetry from the ENVISAT mission was then used to update the storages in the reaches of the Muskingum model using the Extended Kalman Filter. The method showed improvements in modeled flows relative to the baseline.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 20 Years of Progress in Radar Altimetry
Number of pages5
PublisherEuropean Space Agency
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)9789292212742
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event20 years of Progress in Radar Altimetry - Venice-Lido, Italy
Duration: 24 Sep 201229 Sep 2012


Conference20 years of Progress in Radar Altimetry
Internet address
SeriesE S A - S P


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