: Knowledge about the frequency and duration of each flowing status of non-perennial rivers is severely limited by the small number of streamflow gauges and reliable prediction of surface water presence by hydrological models. In this study, multispectral Sentinel-2 images were used to detect and monitor changes in water surface presence along three non-perennial Mediterranean rivers located in southern Italy. Examining the reflectance values of water, sediment and vegetation covers, the bands in which these classes are most differentiated were identified. It emerged that the false-color composition of the Sentinel-2 bands SWIR, NIR and RED allows water surfaces to be clearly distinguished from the other components of the river corridor. From the false-color composite images, it was possible to identify the three distinct flowing status of non-perennial rivers: "flowing" (F), "ponding" (P) and "dry" (D). The results were compared with field data and very high-resolution images. The flowing status was identified for all archive images not affected by cloud cover. The obtained dataset allowed to train Random Forest (RF) models able to fill temporal gaps between satellite images, and predict the occurrence of one of the three flowing status (F/P/D) on a daily scale. The most important predictors of the RF models were the cumulative rainfall and air temperature data before the date of satellite image acquisition. The performances of RF models were very high, with total accuracy of 0.82-0.97 and true skill statistic of 0.64-0.95. The annual non-flowing period (phases P and D) of the monitored rivers was assessed in range 5 to 192 days depending on the river reach. Due to the easy-to-use algorithm and the global, freely available satellite imagery, this innovative technique has large application potential to describe flowing status of non-perennial rivers and estimate frequency and duration of surface water presence.
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