Two Geosensing Doctoral Candidates Defend Dissertations

May 10, 2022

Chi-Hung Chang and Tien Du Defend Dissertations in Fall 2021

Two students advised by Dr. Hyongki Lee, from the Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) program, recently defended their Ph.D. dissertations. Chi-Hung defended, "Forecasting Flood Levels and Areal Inundation in Downstream Mekong Using Remotely Sensed Data and Modeling." Inhabitants of the Mekong River Basin (MRB) floodplain rely extensively on resources from the river as their major food and income source. Chi-Hung asks, "How can we build skillful, computationally efficient, and sustainable water level and inundation extent forecasting systems for the MRB, specifically for the downstream floodplain?" The dissertation proposes a freely accessible, computationally efficient daily water level forecasting system and a satellite imagery-based inundation extent forecasting framework. The results allow quick and continuous estimation of inundation extents with available hydrological data, while addressing concerns of computational burden and overestimation issues in conventional forecasting.

Tien Du defended her dissertation on, "Operational Water Management in Highly Regulated, Transboundary Watersheds Using Multi-Basin Modelling, Earth Observations and Co-Production." Sparse in-situ monitoring networks, limited data access, and rapid growth of reservoirs and dams inhibit accurate estimation and verification of surface water resources forecasts, particularly at transboundary watersheds, in developing countries. Tien performed three studies which demonstrated that non-regulated surface water resources can be estimated through innovative approaches using regionalization derived from similarity of physiography and climate, and flow correlation of water levels derived from satellite altimetry. The results help quantify and forecast availability of surface water resources in highly regulated, transboundary watersheds across time and space. This will improve the potentials of multi-basin watershed models, earth observations, and co-production to inform decisions on operational water management.

Chi-Hung and Tien are both pursuing postdoctoral research at the University of Houston. Congratulations!

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