# Toward a High-Resolution Monitoring of Continental Surface Water Extent and Dynamics, at Global Scale: from GIEMS (Global Inundation Extent from Multi-Satellites) to SWOT (Surface Water Ocean Topography)

Surveys in Geophysics, Oct 2015

Up to now, high-resolution mapping of surface water extent from satellites has only been available for a few regions, over limited time periods. The extension of the temporal and spatial coverage was difficult, due to the limitation of the remote sensing technique [e.g., the interaction of the radiation with vegetation or cloud for visible observations or the temporal sampling with the synthetic aperture radar (SAR)]. The advantages and the limitations of the various satellite techniques are reviewed. The need to have a global and consistent estimate of the water surfaces over long time periods triggered the development of a multi-satellite methodology to obtain consistent surface water all over the globe, regardless of the environments. The Global Inundation Extent from Multi-satellites (GIEMS) combines the complementary strengths of satellite observations from the visible to the microwave, to produce a low-resolution monthly dataset ($0.25^\circ \,\times \,0.25^\circ$) of surface water extent and dynamics. Downscaling algorithms are now developed and applied to GIEMS, using high-spatial-resolution information from visible, near-infrared, and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite images, or from digital elevation models. Preliminary products are available down to 500-m spatial resolution. This work bridges the gaps and prepares for the future NASA/CNES Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission to be launched in 2020. SWOT will delineate surface water extent estimates and their water storage with an unprecedented spatial resolution and accuracy, thanks to a SAR in an interferometry mode. When available, the SWOT data will be adopted to downscale GIEMS, to produce a long time series of water surfaces at global scale, consistent with the SWOT observations.

This is a preview of a remote PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10712-015-9339-x.pdf

Catherine Prigent, Dennis P. Lettenmaier, Filipe Aires, Fabrice Papa. Toward a High-Resolution Monitoring of Continental Surface Water Extent and Dynamics, at Global Scale: from GIEMS (Global Inundation Extent from Multi-Satellites) to SWOT (Surface Water Ocean Topography), Surveys in Geophysics, 2016, 339-355, DOI: 10.1007/s10712-015-9339-x