Datasets related to in-land water for limnology and remote sensing applications: distance-to-land, distance-to-water, water-body identifier and lake-centre co-ordinates

Geosci Data J. 2015 Nov;2(2):83-97. doi: 10.1002/gdj3.32. Epub 2016 Feb 19.


Datasets containing information to locate and identify water bodies have been generated from data locating static-water-bodies with resolution of about 300 m (1/360) recently released by the Land Cover Climate Change Initiative (LC CCI) of the European Space Agency. The LC CCI water-bodies dataset has been obtained from multi-temporal metrics based on time series of the backscattered intensity recorded by ASAR on Envisat between 2005 and 2010. The new derived datasets provide coherently: distance to land, distance to water, water-body identifiers and lake-centre locations. The water-body identifier dataset locates the water bodies assigning the identifiers of the Global Lakes and Wetlands Database (GLWD), and lake centres are defined for in-land waters for which GLWD IDs were determined. The new datasets therefore link recent lake/reservoir/wetlands extent to the GLWD, together with a set of coordinates which locates unambiguously the water bodies in the database. Information on distance-to-land for each water cell and the distance-to-water for each land cell has many potential applications in remote sensing, where the applicability of geophysical retrieval algorithms may be affected by the presence of water or land within a satellite field of view (image pixel). During the generation and validation of the datasets some limitations of the GLWD database and of the LC CCI water-bodies mask have been found. Some examples of the inaccuracies/limitations are presented and discussed. Temporal change in water-body extent is common. Future versions of the LC CCI dataset are planned to represent temporal variation, and this will permit these derived datasets to be updated.

Keywords: global; lake; limnology; satellite; surface water temperature.