Characterization of reservoirs for water supply in Northeast Brazil using high resolution remote sensing.

Published in RBRH Revista Brasileira de Recursos Hídricos/Brazilian Journal of Water Resources, v.22.

Nascimento, V.F., Ribeiro Neto, A.

Publication year 2017

Secretaria de Desenvolvimento Econômico, Recife, PE, Brazil Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, PE, Brazil

IAI Program


IAI Project CRN3056


This paper reports the application of information acquired by aerial survey to characterize water supply reservoirs in the Pajeú River Basin (Pernambuco State/Brazil). The survey was carried out with digital cameras of high spatial resolution and laser relief profiling (LiDAR technology). Two areas were selected to apply the remote sensing products. Small reservoirs in the Quixaba Creek Basin were identified based on their topographic characteristics. Given that the small reservoirs are &ldquodepressions&rdquo in the terrain, they can be &ldquofilled&rdquo, resulting in a new Digital Terrain Model (DTM). The difference between the filled DTM and the original DTM makes it possible to identify the reservoirs. A summary of the results is: 61 reservoirs were correctly detected 18 reservoirs were not detected 13 reservoirs were detected erroneously. In another application, the storage capacity of the reservoirs belonging to the hydrosystems of Pajeú River Basin was estimated. The storage in these reservoirs and maximum surface area were estimated using DTM and geoprocessing tools. From the total of 31 reservoirs evaluated, eight were completely empty at the time of the LiDAR data collection. The official registers reported 83.83 million m3 for the storage capacity of these eight reservoirs, whereas our applications estimated the value at 70.23 million m3. This difference is explained by the loss of volume in the reservoirs due to the process of sediment transport.