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Earth Space Sci. 2017 Jan;4(1):16-39. doi: 10.1002/2016EA000194. Epub 2017 Jan 12.

Wetland monitoring with Global Navigation Satellite System reflectometry.

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Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology Pasadena California USA.
Institut de Ciències de l'Espai/CSIC-IEEC Barcelona Spain.
Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research University of Colorado Boulder Boulder Colorado USA.
Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaCaliforniaUSA; Group on Earth Observations (GEO)GenevaSwitzerland.
solo Earth Observation (soloEO) Tokyo Japan.


Information about wetland dynamics remains a major missing gap in characterizing, understanding, and projecting changes in atmospheric methane and terrestrial water storage. A review of current satellite methods to delineate and monitor wetland change shows some recent advances, but much improved sensing technologies are still needed for wetland mapping, not only to provide more accurate global inventories but also to examine changes spanning multiple decades. Global Navigation Satellite Systems Reflectometry (GNSS-R) signatures from aircraft over the Ebro River Delta in Spain and satellite measurements over the Mississippi River and adjacent watersheds demonstrate that inundated wetlands can be identified under different vegetation conditions including a dense rice canopy and a thick forest with tall trees, where optical sensors and monostatic radars provide limited capabilities. Advantages as well as constraints of GNSS-R are presented, and the synergy with various satellite observations are considered to achieve a breakthrough capability for multidecadal wetland dynamics monitoring with frequent global coverage at multiple spatial and temporal scales.


GNSS‐R; GPS; energy cycle; methane; water cycle; wetland

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