EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Constructing Mediterranean wetland open water dynamics using a new 18-year MODIS-derived surface water fraction dataset

Linlin Li1,2, Anton Vrieling1, Andrew Skidmore1,3, and Tiejun Wang1
Linlin Li et al.
  • 1Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, The Netherlands (
  • 2Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands (
  • 3School of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW 2019, Australia

Wetlands are among the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, due largely to their dynamic hydrology. Frequent observations by satellite sensors such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) allow for monitoring the seasonal, inter-annual and long-term dynamics of surface water extent. However, existing MODIS-based studies have only demonstrated this for large water bodies despite the ecological importance of smaller-sized wetland systems. In this paper, we constructed the temporal dynamics of surface water extent for 340 individual water bodies in the Mediterranean region between 2000 and 2017, using a previously developed 8-day 500 m MODIS surface water fraction (SWF) dataset. These water bodies has a wide range of size, specifically 0.01 km2 and larger. We then compared the water extent time series derived from MODIS SWF with those derived from a Landsat-based dataset. Results showed that MODIS- and Landsat-derived water extent time series showed a high correlation (r = 0.81) for more dynamic water bodies. Our MODIS SWF dataset can also effectively monitor the variability of very small water bodies (<1 km2) when comparing with Landsat data as long as the temporal variability in their surface water area was high. We conclude that MODIS SWF is a useful product to help understand hydrological dynamics for both small and larger-sized water bodies, and to monitor their seasonal, intermittent, inter-annual and long-term changes.

How to cite: Li, L., Vrieling, A., Skidmore, A., and Wang, T.: Constructing Mediterranean wetland open water dynamics using a new 18-year MODIS-derived surface water fraction dataset, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19945,, 2020