Huilin Gao

Texas A&M University

Applied Research Topic: 

Developing ICESat-2 Based Lake Bathymetry Product for Improved Reservoir Management

Potential Applications: 

Reservoir Management; Water resources management; Operational lake bathymetry


Precise lake bathymetry (i.e., elevation/contour) mapping is essential for optimal decision making in water resources management. In this proposed study, we will develop a method which employs high resolution inland water elevation values from ICESat-2, and surface area estimation from satellite imagery. As a case study, we will focus on Lake Mead. First, the MABEL data collected will be used for developing the algorithm, and the results will be evaluated in comparison to available data. Then the simulated (i.e., synthetic) ICESat-2 data will be employed to generate an ICESat-2-like bathymetry product. Using this product, the potential for applying the results to assist water management in an operational manner will be examined. Finally, post-launch strategies for a high quality lake bathymetry product—and maximizing its usage—will be explored. The remote sensing based methods, results, and the end-to-end strategies are transferable to other reservoirs.

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