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A review of methodologies to estimate river discharge from satellite observations

Author Affiliations

  • 1National Institute of Technology (NIT), Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
  • 2National Institute of Technology (NIT), Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
  • 3National Institute of Technology (NIT), Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

Res. J. Engineering Sci., Volume 10, Issue (2), Pages 15-19, May,26 (2021)


This paper consists of comprehensive review of different methodologies that are being used by different researchers in the field of estimating river discharge from satellite observations. In this paper five methods Direct equation based method, Quantile function based method, Mannings resistance equation based method, Method using MODIS derived depth and width of flow and Rainfall Runoff models based method are reviewed on the basis of their working principle, ease, accuracy, localized or global application, limitations and future scope. From review we observed that Direct equation based method is pioneer of other methods but having less accuracy as it does not considers any uncertainties, it works on trend concept. Quantile function based method is modification over previous one and very useful in every type of region. Mannings resistance equation based method consist satisfactory parameters and can be used in river discharge time series estimation with promising accuracy. Method using MODIS derived depth and width of flow is second most promising method among these because in this we are getting most important parameter flow depth which has direct relation with discharge, hence it has high accuracy as well. Among all methods most promising method is Rainfall Runoff Models based method. It is developed by integrating river discharge with water surface width and rainfall. This method considers uncertainty with calibrating parameters from Generalized Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) and it has high future potential.


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