Evaluating the Use of In-situ and Remote Sensing Data to Answer Critical Hydrological Questions

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Timothy R Petty, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States
Water demands of the 21st Century pose challenges for effective decision-making and viable management of hydrological resources. As competition for water becomes more complex, the use of technology to maximize finite water resources becomes increasingly critical. Therefore, accurate methods of gauging relevant data streams must be developed and improved at every level, from basic and applied research to water management to policy oversight.

How can the relative value for answering critical hydrologic questions of prospective data streams be gauged? Advancements in technology are producing multiple new sources of hydrological data from in-situ platforms and the developing resource of remote sensing platforms. The in-situ and remote sensing data available from these new sources can be used complementarily to provide answers to critical water resource management questions. Analyses that identify which combination of data resources will offer the most effective methodology for quantifying hydrological variables will establish new best practices for water management. We are going to use new techniques of data assimilation to establish a process for identifying and evaluating the method that provides the most quantitative means for answering key hydrological questions.

This research will outline a method for evaluating specific in-situ and remote sensing data sets for complementary use in managing flood hazards, assessing water flows, and improving irrigation practices, to name a few. This will result in improved understanding of multisensory data and its analysis which, in turn, will lead to better informed decision-making, improved policy development and future governance regarding hydrological systems in any given watershed scenario.


Image: Preliminary Research Road Map / Poster will highlight Quantitative Research (step 1)