Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2022-313
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2022-313
18 Oct 2022
 | 18 Oct 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

High-resolution datasets for lake level changes in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau from 2002 to 2021 using multi-altimeter data

Jiaming Chen, Jingjuan Liao, Yanhan Lou, Shanmu Ma, Guozhuang Shen, and Lianchong Zhang

Abstract. The Qinghai Tibet Plateau (QTP), known as the Roof of the World and the Water Tower of Asia, has the largest number of lakes in the world, and because of its high altitude and near absence of disturbances by human activity, the plateau has long been an important site for studying global climate change. Hydrological stations cannot be readily set up in this region, and in situ gauge data are not always publicly accessible. Satellite radar altimetry has become a very important alternative to in situ observations as a source of data. Estimation of the water levels of lakes via radar altimetry is often limited by temporal and spatial coverage, and, therefore, multi-altimeter data are often used to monitor lake levels. Restricted by the accuracy of waveform processing and the interval period between different altimetry missions, the accuracy and the sampling frequency of the water level series are typically low. By processing and merging data from eight different altimetry missions, the developed datasets provided the water level changes for 362 lakes (larger than 10 km2) in the QTP from 2002 to 2021. The period for the lake level change series, which affords high accuracy, can be much longer for many lake systems. The present datasets and associated approaches are valuable for calculating the changes in lake storage, trend analyses of the lake levels, short-term monitoring of the overflow of lakes, flooding disasters on the plateau, and the relationships between changes in the lake ecosystems and changes in the water resources.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Jiaming Chen, Jingjuan Liao, Yanhan Lou, Shanmu Ma, Guozhuang Shen, and Lianchong Zhang

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-313', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Nov 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Jingjuan Liao, 27 Nov 2022
  • CC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-313', Nancy Swift, 08 Dec 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC1', Jingjuan Liao, 12 Jan 2023
      • CC2: 'Reply on AC2', Nancy Swift, 14 Jan 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-313', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Dec 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Jingjuan Liao, 12 Jan 2023
      • RC3: 'Reply on AC3', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Jan 2023
        • AC4: 'Reply on RC3', Jingjuan Liao, 18 Jan 2023
  • RC4: 'Comment on essd-2022-313', Anonymous Referee #3, 28 Apr 2023
    • AC5: 'Reply on RC4', Jingjuan Liao, 20 May 2023
Jiaming Chen, Jingjuan Liao, Yanhan Lou, Shanmu Ma, Guozhuang Shen, and Lianchong Zhang

Data sets

High-space-coverage lake level change data sets on the Tibetan Plateau from 2002 to 2021 using multiple altimeter data Chen, J., Liao, J., Deng, W., Shen, G., Zhang, L., Wang, C. https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.939427

Jiaming Chen, Jingjuan Liao, Yanhan Lou, Shanmu Ma, Guozhuang Shen, and Lianchong Zhang

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Short summary
The Qinghai Tibet Plateau (QTP) has the largest number of lakes in the world. Hydrological stations cannot be readily set up in this region due to high altitude and remoteness. Satellite radar altimetry has become a very important alternative to in situ observations as a source of data. By combining eight sets of altimeter data, the trends of the changes in the water levels for 362 lakes in the QTP during 2002–2021 were estimated, and the spatio-temporal changes in lake levels were explored.
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