Evolution of soil moisture and analysis of fluvial altimetry using GNSS-R

Abstract : Water is an integral part of life on our planet and it plays an important role in climatic changes. Water resources research is, therefore, very important for the climate communities to not only closely monitor the regional and global water supply budget, but to also understand changes in frequency of occurrence and strength of individual weather events. This is especially true for extreme weather events, which have great societal and economic impacts. Whether we will have more or more intense tropical storms, mega-snow events, or dust-bowls in the near or far future climate. This is one of the key focus areas of climate research. The aim of my PhD work is to provide some answers to assess the impact of future climate change threats on water resources. And we are trying to find the adaptive tools needed for sustainable water resources management. In an effort to optimize water resource management, it is crucial to improve soil moisture situation awareness. With the advent of remote sensing, soil moisture is systematically monitored at the global scale but at the expense of the temporal and/or spatial resolution. Recent studies suggested to take advantage of continuously emitted waves by the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) constellations, to retrieve soil moisture. This opportunistic remote sensing technique, known as GNSS Reflectometry (GNSS-R), consists in comparing the interference of reflected waves by the ground and those which come directly from satellites. In my thesis, I focused on GNSS-R technique base on the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) recorded by conventional GNSS receiver with single antenna to retrieve soil moisture variations. Previous studies show the efficiency of this methodology for clay soil and I demonstrate for the first time, it's efficiency for sandy soil using Unwrapping phase method. This method that I propose has been successfully applied to determine local soil moisture variations of : (1) 100% of sand in Volleyball playground (Toulouse, France); and (2) >85% of sand in the Sahelian critical zone of Dahra (Senegal). In addition, accurate and continuous measurement of river water levels is an important element in water resource management, to obtain an ongoing estimate of the river's flow around the world. The accuracy of GNSS-R technique for river altimetry is useful for detection of extreme hydrological events and to show the competition between continental and oceanic water near coastal area. The two methods, Least Square and "Larson" methods, has been successfully applied to determine local variations in Vietnam of: (1) the Red river (21°02'44.04"N, 105°51'48.86"E) to identify flood events and morphological changes associated to the hydrological events (tropical storm) in 2016; and (2) the Mekong river delta (9°31'38.63"N, 106°12'2.01"E) where continental water interacts with oceanic water. My work shows that GNSS-R is a powerful alternative and a significant complement to the current measurement techniques for managing water resource by establishing a link between the different temporal and spatial resolutions currently achieved by conventional tools (in-situ sensors, remote sensing radar, etc.). This technique has a great advantage based on already-developed and sustainable GNSS satellites networks and can be applied to any GNSS geodetic station. Therefore, by installing a processing chain of the SNR acquisitions, we are able to monitor various environmental parameters i.e. height river, local slope of water surface, flooded areas, soil moisture variations and even vegetation/plant height.
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Minh Cuong Ha. Evolution of soil moisture and analysis of fluvial altimetry using GNSS-R. Climatology. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018TOU30201⟩. ⟨tel-02301630⟩

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