25 Apr 2022
25 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Multi-mission altimetry data to evaluate hydrodynamic model-based stage-discharge rating curves in flood-prone Mahanadi River, India

Pankaj R. Dhote1,2, Joshal K. Bansal1, Vaibhav Garg1, Praveen K. Thakur1, and Ankit Agarwal2,3 Pankaj R. Dhote et al.
  • 1Water Resources Department, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, ISRO, Dehradun, India
  • 2Department of Hydrology, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India
  • 3GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Helmholtz Centre, Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. River discharge and water level data play a vital role for various hydrological applications worldwide. However, limited availability of in-situ data has drawn attention towards using remote sensing techniques to monitor river flow. Indeed, multi-mission satellite altimetry data has been used to generate stage-discharge rating curves through power-law relations and empirical methods. The validation of hydrodynamic model-based rating curves is missing. We investigate the potential of available altimetry series (Jason 2, Jason 3, Saral/AltiKa, Sentinel 3A and Sentinel 3B) over Mahanadi River to validate the estimated rating curves at virtual stations. The hydrodynamic model (HEC-RAS) was developed and 07 virtual stations were identified for Mahanadi River from Boudh to Mundali Barrage. During calibration (July–October, 2018) and validation (July–October, 2018), Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) between simulated and in-situ water level was found to be (0.46 m, 0.83) and (0.45 m, 0.76) respectively. The calibrated and validated model was used to generate rating curves at virtual stations. The RMSE ranging between 27 cm to 88 cm was observed between simulated and altimetry water levels, specifying the potential of all the altimeters with varying specifications to validate the rating curves. The rating curves estimated at virtual stations provide a cost-effective tool for monitoring river flows at additional locations, producing discharge time series for various hydrological applications and assessing of contribution of lateral tributaries.

Pankaj R. Dhote et al.

Status: open (until 11 Jun 2022)

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Pankaj R. Dhote et al.

Pankaj R. Dhote et al.


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Short summary
In the present paper, we have developed framework to establish virtual stage-discharge gauging network in sparsely gauged basin using hydrodynamic modelling and satellite altimetry data. The publication of the work will provide more insights to hydraulic community dealing with flood hazard in sparsely gauged basins, on how to monitor extreme river flow events using remote sensing data at ungauged locations.