Global Assessment of Surface Water Abundance in Lakes and Reservoirs

Authors: Meng Ding*, Kansas State University, Jida Wang, Faculty, Chunqiao Song, Faculty, Yongwei Sheng, Faculty, Takuto Urano, Student, Colin Bailey, Student, Blake Water, Student, Pedro Satori, Faculty
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Water Resources and Hydrology, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: Lakes, Reservoir, Landsat, Storage, Discharge
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Buchanan, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Abstract: The reserves of fresh water on the earth are of critical environmental and social importance. Water flow is considered to be a significant sustainable freshwater resource. However, the greatest mass of liquid surface water, which is readily accessible to human beings, resides in the stocks such as lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. Due to extensive distributions and dynamic natures, our knowledge of the accurate extent, quantity, and quality of global lake systems remain surprisingly poor. By integrating hydrological, spectral, climatological, and literature evidence on various geographic settings, we here systematically classified global lakes into freshwater and saline categories based on our circa-2000 lake inventory, which documents perennial waterbodies greater than 0.4 hectares. We then estimated the mean depth, volume, and associated uncertainties for each inventoried lake using geo-statistics, GIS-based terrain analysis, and existing literature. Compared to the circa-2000 global lake mapping, the recently produced circa-2015 mapping has more comprehensive information, so I assigned the attributes of water type and volume from the circa-2000 to the updated circa-2015 global lake dataset. Both water flow and water storage are significant freshwater resources, so we compared the annual average discharge (from 1990 to 2010) and lake storage on individual drainage basins to obtain the relationships between their abundance in a global scale. The final results reveal an unprecedentedly detailed inventory of global lake extents and storage, which will be beneficial to future surface freshwater monitoring and management.

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