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HYDROCOASTAL is a project funded by ESA to maximise exploitation of SAR and SARin altimeter measurements in the coastal zone and inland waters, by evaluating and implementing new approaches to process SAR and SARin data from CryoSat-2, and SAR altimeter data from Sentinel-3A and Sentinel-3B.

New SAR and SARin processing algorithms for the coastal zone and inland waters will be developed and implemented and evaluated through an initial Test Data Set for selected regions. From the results of this evaluation a processing scheme will be implemented to generate global coastal zone and river discharge data sets. Case studies will assess these products in terms of their scientific impacts.
All the produced data sets will be available on request to external researchers, and full descriptions of the processing algorithms will be provided.

Latest news

First Test Data Set now available
The First Test Data Set is now freely available on request. It contains L2 outputs from the different candidate algorithms over the 18 test regions, and L3 time series for nine inland water regions. For more details go to the products page

Mid Term Review: 20/21 April 2022
The Mid Term Review was held as a hybrid face to face and online meeting at isardSAT offices in Barcelona.

Highlights were

  • Presentation of  SAR altimeter processing algorithms
  • Review and presentation of validation results to assess base performing algorithms for the coastal zone and inland water

Following this meeting, and after acceptance of the necessary deliverables (see documents page), Milestone 2 was successfully achieved.

New HYDROCOASTAL journal papers

Coppo Frias, M., Liu, S., Mo, X., Nielsen, K., Randall, H., Jiang, L., Ma, J., and Bauer-Gottwein, P.(2022): River hydraulic modelling with ICEsat-2 land and water surface elevation, EGUsphere [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-377, 2022 https://egusphere.copernicus.org/preprints/2022/egusphere-2022-377

Fernandes, M. J., C. Lazaro, T. Vieira (2020) On the role of the troposphere in satellite altimetry, Remote Sensing of Environment 252 (2021) 112149, https://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0034-4257(20)30522-8

Tarpanelli, A., F. Iodice, L. Brocca, M. Restano, J. Benveniste, (2020) River flow monitoring by Sentinel-3 OLCI and MODIS: comparison and combination, Remote Sens., 2020, 12(23), 3867 https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12233867

F. de Biasio, G. Baldin, S. Vignudelli (2020) Revisiting Vertical Land Motion and Sea Level Trends in the Northeastern Adriatic Sea Using Satellite Altimetry and Tide Gauge Data, J. Mar, Sci. Eng. 2020, 8, 949

Study examples

University of Bonn are working on CZ validation in this test site over the German Bight and Baltic Sea, showing Sentinel-3A ground tracks and locations of fiducial reference data from operational tide gauges of the BfG network (green triangle) and wave buoys (squares) and GPS stations (red dots):



Project Manager: David Cotton, SatOC (d.cotton at satoc.eu)


If you are interested in accessing any of the data sets contact the Project Manager at the above address.

Project activities

Task 1 (February to June 2020):
Scientific Review and Requirements Consolidation

  • Critical review of the state-of-the-art in the scientific fields related to this activity (Altimetry, Coastal and Inland Water).
  • Consolidate the requirements and define the most suitable methods and algorithms to be developed and the data products to be generated.

Science Review (June 2020): Confirm algorithms to be implemented and evaluated through the production of a test data set.

Task 2 (July 2020 to March 2022):
Algorithm Development, Implementation and Validation, Production of Global Data Sets

  • Develop, implement and test the algorithms.
  • Generate, and validate, test data sets for selected regions

Mid-term Review (April 2022): Assess the performance of the different processing algorithms and agree specification for processing and contents of Global Data Sets.

  • Global Coastal Zone and River Discharge (Medium-Large) Data Sets.
  • Experimental Small Rivers and Tributaries Data Set.

Task 3 (April 2022 to December 2022): Impact Assessment

Exploitation of Global Products in Impact Assessment Case Studies to assess impact of Global Products:

  • Processor Case Studies.
  • Joint Coastal Zone and Inland Water Impact Assessment,
  • Inland Water Impact Assessment.

Acceptance Review (December 2022): Present and review Impact Assessment Reports.

Task 4 (December 2022 - March 2023): Scientific Roadmap

Develop a Scientific Roadmap identifying scientific priority areas, including

  • Recommendations and guidance for future scientific data exploitation projects.
  • Recommendations for algorithmic evolutions within baseline processing.
  • Recommendations for future interferometric altimetry missions.

Final Review (March 2023): Presentation and review of project results.

Project team

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Satellite Oceanographic Consultants Ltd 2020