Monitoring the storage volume of impounding reservoirs in inaccessible regions using multi-sensor satellite data: the case study of Tuyen Quang Reservoir (Vietnam)

Nguyen Thien Phuong Thao, Nguyen Duy Thai, Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Pham Quang Vinh, Dinh Xuan Thanh
Author affiliations


  • Nguyen Thien Phuong Thao Faculty of Geology, VNU University of Science, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Nguyen Duy Thai Faculty of Geology, VNU University of Science, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Nguyen Thi Thu Ha Faculty of Geology, VNU University of Science, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Pham Quang Vinh Institute of Geography, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Dinh Xuan Thanh Institute of Geography, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam



Reservoir capacity, Bathymetry, SRTM DEM, Sentinel-2, Landsat imageries, MNDWI


Water stored by reservoirs is critical for irrigation, electricity generation, drinking water supply, recreation, fisheries, and flood control. Therefore, the reservoir's water storage volume (SW) must be measured and monitored frequently for better watershed management. Since SW data is often not publicly available, finding a method to quantify SW objectively and accurately but to facilitate local water management is necessary. This study proposes a method for monitoring water surface area and storage volume using multi-sensor satellite remote sensing data through the Tuyen Quang Reservoir case study in Northern Vietnam. Accordingly, the water surface area was first delineated from multi-temporal optical satellite images, such as Landsat series and Sentinel-2 images, using the Modified Normalized Difference Water Index and resampled into 30-m pixel resolution data. Using the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Digital Elevation Model data, the water depth at each pixel was then calculated by the difference between its elevation and the reservoir shoreline's mean elevation. The results showed that the reservoir's water surface area increased rapidly during 2003-2007 (from 579 ha to 5,516 ha), fluctuated insignificantly in 2008-2020, and reached 7,196 ha in 2021. Consequently, SW was raised from 11.8 million m3 in 2003 to 1.68 billion m3 in 2021. Our estimations agree with the depth and SW of Tuyen Quang Reservoir published in 2019. Our proposed method could be an effective water resource management tool in developing countries where the number of impounding reservoirs increases dramatically yearly without the financial afford to build gauging stations.   


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How to Cite

Nguyen Thien Phuong, T., Nguyen Duy, T., Nguyen Thi Thu, H., Pham Quang, V., & Dinh Xuan, T. (2023). Monitoring the storage volume of impounding reservoirs in inaccessible regions using multi-sensor satellite data: the case study of Tuyen Quang Reservoir (Vietnam). Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences, 45(2), 199–218.