×H5. New approaches to measure and model the dynamics of rivers, wetlands and constructed water bodies

Measuring and predicting the dynamics of surface water in rivers, wetlands and constructed storages informs water management and policy decisions, flood management and response, and helps to understand the influence of climate change and anthropogenic activities on hydrological, biogeochemical, and ecological processes. However, variations in water body dynamics are often poorly observed on the ground. Water level gauging networks are highly unevenly distributed and in decline globally. Hydrological modelling is now widely used to estimate the surface water dynamics. However, modelling rivers with multiple, braided and shifting channels, simulating the hydrology of wetlands and floodplains, and predicting the management of constructed water bodies in the river as well as off-channel storages pose conceptual challenges to the modelling. Data and computational limitations also continue to challenge hydrodynamic modelling. Fortunately, satellite and airborne remote sensing technology provide many opportunities to measure and understand changes in water extent, level and volume in space and time. These data can provide new or improved observational constraints on modelling. A challenge is that characterising surface water dynamics can require consideration of a wide range of time and space scales and observation environments. Very high spatial, temporal and vertical resolution may be needed to capture subtle variations in water distribution or level and push the limits of our observation systems. This session focuses on novel approaches to measure and model the dynamics of surface water using remote sensing or advanced hydrological modelling, or a combination of both.

Key topics: Rivers, Wetlands, Water bodies, Remote sensing