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Proceedings Paper

Interannual water level variations in Lake Izabal, Guatemala, Centroamerica, using radar altimetry and its relationship with oceanographic features
Author(s): C. Medina; J. Gómez-Enri; J. Alonso del Rosario; P. Villares-Durán; M. Arias Ballesteros; M. Catalán Pérez-Urquiola; I. Labrador
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Paper Abstract

It is well known that ocean-atmosphere dynamic affects the weather conditions over the continents and the ocean itself. The hydrologic cycle is driven by climatic parameters like precipitation, temperature, evaporation, winds and humidity. Hence, the river's water discharges and lake water level variations are impelled by climatic conditions also. Lake Izabal is the largest one in Guatemala; its main tributary is the Polochic River. Its level is related to the Polochic Rivers runoff and therefore to the precipitation/evaporation over its catchment area. The Lake Izabal water level fluctuations are driven by the annual cycle of rainy and dry seasons. In this study the ENVISAT RA-2 Geophysical Data Records orbits over the lake, coupled with in-situ measurements are used in order to determine and characterize the lake level fluctuations. The precipitation records over the lake's catchment area are also analyzed. In addition, some relationships of the lake level interannual variations with the climate indexes of Southern Oscillation Index SOI and the Tropical North Atlantic NATL were investigated. The main result is that the abrupt lake level rise in July 2006 is correlated to an abnormal precipitation in June 2006. Theoretically, this was forced by "La Nina" Southern Oscillation events during early 2006.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 October 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6743, Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, and Large Water Regions 2007, 67430L (24 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.737793
Show Author Affiliations
C. Medina, Univ. de Cádiz (Spain)
J. Gómez-Enri, Univ. de Cádiz (Spain)
J. Alonso del Rosario, Univ. de Cádiz (Spain)
P. Villares-Durán, Univ. de Cádiz (Spain)
M. Arias Ballesteros, Univ. de Cádiz (Spain)
M. Catalán Pérez-Urquiola, Univ. de Cádiz (Spain)
I. Labrador, Univ. de Cádiz (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6743:
Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, and Large Water Regions 2007
Charles R. Bostater; Stelios P. Mertikas; Xavier Neyt; Miguel Vélez-Reyes, Editor(s)

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