Timely information on the extent of open water surfaces and wetland dynamics can be useful for decision-makers to rapidly respond to flood or drought events and is critical for improving our understanding of large scale eco-hydrological variability. The use of remote sensing data from the MODIS Satellite can support large scale eco-hydrological studies of wetland systems, as well as flood and drought monitoring, and the evaluation of the impacts of dam development, land-use and climate change.

This study concluded that a simple remote-sensing -based spectral index method – MNDWI6 – can effectively map large water bodies and their variations. A new method for optimizing detection thresholds significantly increases detection accuracy of open water.