COMPARISON OF CRYOSAT-2 AND ICESAT-2 ON WATER LEVEL MONITORING OF NAM CO LAKE
Keywords: Nam Co Lake, Tibetan Plateau, Water Level, Satellite Altimetry, ICESat-2, CryoSat-2
Abstract. There are more than 1,000 lakes (> 1 km2) on the Tibetan Plateau and lake level is an important physical feature of lake changes. Lake level change is an important indicator to reflect changes of climate and environment in a certain area. The development of satellite altimetry has provided data support for the monitoring of lake level and effectively compensated for the deficiencies of traditional water level monitoring in alpine regions. In this study, the laser altimeter of ICESat-2 and the radar altimeter of CryoSat-2 are used to provide lake level of the Nam Co lake during the period of 2010–2020. The result showed that the standard deviation (SD) of ICESat-2 (0.0895 m) was lower than the SD of CryoSat-2 (0.2556 m) and the months with higher SD values were mostly during the ice period of Nam Co lake. ICESat-2 had a considerably decreased measurement uncertainty. There are systematic differences in lake levels extracted by different altimetry satellites and the mean bias between ICESat-2 and CryoSat-2 was around 0.45 m. After removing inter-altimeter biases, the continuous lake levels from 2010 to 2020 were constructed. The inter-annual changes in lake levels were flat or even slightly decreased and the lake level has dropped by about 0.80 m in general. The water level generally reached the highest from September to October of the year in terms of intra-annual changes. Besides, temperature and precipitation changes were closely related to lake level tendency.