Lake Level Variations Monitored with Satellite Altimetry Waveform Retracking

Jinyun Guo, Jialong Sun, Jinyun Guo, Xiaotao Chang, Yonggang Gao, Chein-way Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Over lake shores, altimetric waveforms are generally contaminated by lands, rough lake surfaces, and lag effects of the altimeter's automatic gain control. To improve altimeter ranging accuracy and in turn to get better surface height measurement, contaminated waveforms should be retracked against geophysical corrections. In this paper, an improved threshold retracker (ITR) is developed to retrack waveforms over lakes. ITR considers not only the physical characteristics of the reflecting surface, but also the stochastic feature of waveform, and two new retrackers, the N-Beta function model, and the N-5-Beta function model, are also put forward to develop the waveform retracking program of this study. TOPEX/POSEIDON waveforms over Hulun Lake in the North China are retracked to monitor the temporal lake level variations. A comparison with the in situ hydrological data indicates ITR is very efficient to monitor the lake level variations with the retracked altimetric data. The result of our study shows accurate seasonal level variations and the descending trend of Hulun Lake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Improved threshold retracker
  • lake level variations
  • lakes
  • level measurement
  • radar altimetry
  • satellite altimetry
  • waveform analysis
  • waveform retracking


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