Satellite altimetry has been proven as an effective technology to accurately measure water level, ice elevation, and flat land surface changes since the 1990s. To overcome limitations of pulse-limited altimetry, new altimetric missions such as Cryosat-2 and Satellite with ARgos and AltiKa (SARAL/AltiKa), have been designed to have higher along-track spatial resolution to measure more accurately inland water levels for small water bodies, and coastal sea level changes. In this study, we evaluate the performance of Cryosat-2 low-resolution (LRM) and SARin modes and SARAL/AltiKa Ka-band data on two connected lakes in central Tibetan Plateau, and in the coastal region of Taiwan. Results are compared with in situ tide gauge data in Taiwan and altimetric lake level time series from the CNES Hydroweb database. Our results show that water level change trends observed by Cryosat-2 20-Hz retracked observations, the SARAL/AltiKa 40-Hz Ice-1 retracked data, and the Hydroweb measurements are consistent with the estimated water level trend of ∼0.30 m/y, during 2011–2017, and 2013–2015, for the Tibetan Migriggyangzham Co and Dorsoidong Co, respectively. For the coastal region, the performance of SARAL/AltiKa is better than that of Cryosat-2 LRM data in Taiwan. This finding demonstrates the superiority of the Ka-band over Ku-band radar altimetry.
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