Weekly monitoring service of lakes superficial size

In the frame of monitoring inland water bodies, tracking the extension of water resources is essential to assist water decision makers for a wise management of lakes and reservoirs.

Lakes' surface monitoring


The Eder reservoir, in Germany, was drastically affected by the long drought season experienced in Germany in 2018. With its nominal 11.8 km² reservoir, it has the 2nd largest area of all reservoirs in Germany. In November 2018, its area decreases to less than 3 km². In the figure above the thematic map for the Eder reservoir:
  • on the 01st December 2017 – dark blue outline;
  • on the 06th June 2018 – light blue outline;
  • on the 02nd August 2018 – green outline;
  • on the 01st October 2018 – filled blue.
In the figure below the chart of the historical trend of the surface of the lake Edersee from 2016 to begininng of 2019.

Castanhão Dam, Brazil

Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. A locks system lifts vessels up 26 meters to the main elevation of the Canal and down again. Traveling through its 77 km takes up to 8 hours. The locks system is driven by releasing water from the lakes along the Canal. These lakes also provide water to the adjacent municipalities, and are used to generate the power for operating the Canal itself.

Alajuela Lake has a drainage area of 1026 square kilometers and contributes to the 45% of the total runoff. It also serves as storage space on a seasonal basis. In December 2010 Alajuela Lake reached its highest recorded water level, prompting authorities to close the Panama Canal for a day. 

Here data from Sentinel-1 mission collected between February and July 2017 were used to generate a dynamic view of the seasonal variation of Alajuela Lake level. We evaluated the surface of the lake being about 35 square kilometers in February 2017, and loosing an area of about 16 square kilometers during the following six months.

Drought effects on inland waters

Castanhão Dam, Brazil

The lake formed by the Castanhão Dam in Brazil covered an original surface of 360 square kilometres. Since its opening in 2004, several drought events have taken place, which have reduced the lake surface of more than the 90%.

Above the thematic map for the lake Castanhão on the 09th May 2017. The original lake surface is represented in light blue, whereas the surface covered on the 09th May 2017 is represented in dark blue.

Below the chart of the historical trend of the surface of the lake Castanhão during 2017.

Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2016,2017,2018,2019], processed by Melchionna – Remote Sensing