Satellite Images for Wetlands

Satellite based information will reduce the human effort/costs and deliver additional information that cannot be collected on the ground or derived from other sources.

The sustainability of the input data is ensured by the long-term and free availability of the Sentinel satellite data, provided by ESA. Satellite data are available for everywhere, also from large, remote an unaccessible areas and satellite data allow to go back into the past to the 1970ies to monitor changes and the impact of land conversion, drainage and other threats to wetlands over long periods. Radar satellites deliver information independent of weather and clouds.

The following Satellite sensors are the most relevant for wetland monitoring :

⇒ Sentinel-1 //
Identification of water (inundated areas), Information on soil moisture

⇒ Sentinel-2 //
Land monitoring (such as LULC), Inland water monitoring

⇒ Sentinel-3 //
Sea and land surface temperature, water quality

⇒ Landsat 1…7 //
Historical land and inland water monitoring back to 1970s

⇒ Landsat 8 //
Land monitoring (such as LULC), Inland water monitoring, Land Surface Temperature

⇒ Envisat MERIS //
Water Quality (historical 2002 – 2011)

⇒ MODIS //
Land and sea surface temperature

Exampel Images

The Radar perspective: SAR-based monitoring of inundation

(Camargue, France, ©Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel-1 data 2015)


The Optical Perpective: Optical Satellite data for Wetland monitoring

The long term temporal perspective:

Monitoring of long term changes /
increasing urban areas (Ras Al Khor United Arab Emirates, ©Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel-2 data 2017)

The short term temporal perspective:

Monitoring of short term changes / wetland characteristics (Azraq Oasis, Jordan, ©Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel-2 data 2015/16)

Daily large scale perspective:

Monitoring of water quality in Mediterranean wetlands in France (©Contains modified Copernicus
Sentinel-3 data 2018)