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Abstract

An understanding of hydrology is a prerequisite for ensuring the successful management, conservation and restoration of wetland environments. Frequently, however, little is known about historical hydrological conditions, such as water levels, within wetlands. Moreover, many channel and ditch systems in wetlands are not routinely monitored, except perhaps for research purposes. A methodology is presented herein which makes use of satellite imagery to indirectly provide remotely sensed observations of water levels within channels and ditches. Using multi-temporal Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery, and simultaneous ground-based measurements of water levels, statistical relationships are established between satellite-derived effective wet ditch widths and measured water levels in the drainage system of the Elmley Marshes, southeast England. These relationships can be used subsequently to estimate historical ditch water levels and to monitor contemporary ditch water levels in the wetland. The study shows that satellite imagery has much to offer in monitoring changes in the hydrological regime of wetlands and in providing complimentary approaches to field monitoring.

Additional information

Authors: AL-KHUDHAIRY D H A ET AL, JRC, ISIS, Ispra (IT);THOMPSON J R, University College London, Department of Geography, Wetland Research Unit (UK);GAVIN H, University College London, Department of Geography, Wetland Research Unit (UK);GASCA-TUCKER D L, University College London, Department of Geography, Wetland Research Unit (UK)
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Hydrological Sciences-Journal-des-Sciences Hydrologiques, Vol.46, No.4 (2001), pp.585-597
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