Information about wetland dynamics remains a major missing gap in characterizing, understanding, and projecting changes in atmospheric methane and terrestrial water storage. A review of current satellite methods to delineate and monitor wetland change shows some recent advances, but much improved sensing technologies are still needed for wetland mapping, not only to provide more accurate global inventories but also to examine changes spanning multiple decades. Global Navigation Satellite Systems Reflectometry (GNSS-R) signatures from aircraft over the Ebro River Delta in Spain and satellite measurements over the Mississippi River and adjacent watersheds demonstrate that inundated wetlands can be identified under different vegetation conditions including a dense rice canopy and a thick forest with tall trees, where optical sensors and monostatic radars provide limited capabilities. Advantages as well as constraints of GNSS-R are presented, and the synergy with various satellite observations are considered to achieve a breakthrough capability for multidecadal wetland dynamics monitoring with frequent global coverage at multiple spatial and temporal scales.
Keywords: GNSS‐R; GPS; energy cycle; methane; water cycle; wetland.