As a result, hydrological research has become a frontrunner in the evolution of the geosciences into its current guise. This editorial summarizes some of the key geospatial satellite data sources and technologies being applied to hydrological research. From a water resources perspective, satellite imagery has proven particularly effective in developing snowmelt runoff models.
Research in hydrology will often involve an analysis of complex natural and human systems. Such research includes both water resources (catchment-scale water budgets, snowmelt, supply and demand issues) and hazards analysis (flooding, channel erosion, impacts of urbanization). In recent years the wider access of geospatial satellite data to represent these systems, and development of tools and technologies to process this data has increased tremendously. One such data source includes the range of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products available from the NOAAâs National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), in particular the MODIS/Terra Daily Snow Cover imagery. Beginning in 2000, this 500m resolution imagery has been used to calibrate snowmelt runoff across several river basins. A further benefit of this product is the availability of the HEG-Win tool to convert the MODIS files from HDF-EOS to GeoTIFF format that allows the snowcover imagery to be correctly geo-referenced and projected in ArcGIS. The NSIDC is also responsible for the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) products which may be used in snowmelt water resources research. This data is available from 1982 at a lower resolution of 1km making it more suitable for smaller-scale studies, although errors in the AVHRR data have led to the temporary withdrawal of this product for calibration until later release in 2013.
Last date updated on June, 2014