A global database for hydrological data

Ocean Next participate in the construction of a global database for hydrological data, building on preliminary versions already developed by several french research institutes (such as HydroWeb, Hydrolare, …)

Our participation in this project concerns:

  • the integration of the most recent satellite observations (such as Jason-3, Sentinel-3) and the preparation for the soon coming SWOT data,
  • the integration of older datasets such as Toex/Poseidon, ERS, Envisat, GFO, in order to increase the time coverage in for climate perspective,
  • the improvement of the algorithms to access the hydrological variables from satellite data,
  • the definition of a “smart” network of reference locations (virtual stations) to cover of the globe in an homogenous and consistent way,
  • a more focused investigation of some specific hydrological regions of crucial importance, in which new methods will be applied, tested and documented.
  • And more generally, we participate in the design of this database, taking into consideration not only its research/science dimension (to improve our understanding and forecast-skills of inland waters, which play a crucial role in the Earth’s climate) but also taking into account its environmental, economical, geopolitical dimensions.


Fig1: Variations of the level of water in the flooded area of the Mékong delta., The intense flood in 2000 is related to monsoon season that was particularly intense that year. Conversely, the flood was much less intense in 1998. Ref: SPOT5 image of the Mekong Delta. Source Frédéric Frappart, LEGOS.


Fig2: Some examples of timeseries of the level of water for Niger, Yangze, Indus and Danube rivers, from the HYDROWEB dataweb. Source Jean-François Crétaux.

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