2012 Progress Report: Ecological Assessment of Generalized Littoral Environments Decision-Support System (EAGLE/OS)

EPA Grant Number: R835193
Title: Ecological Assessment of Generalized Littoral Environments Decision-Support System (EAGLE/OS)
Investigators: Muller-Karger, Frank Edgar , Chen, F. Robert
Current Investigators: Muller-Karger, Frank Edgar , Chen, F. Robert , McCarthy, Matthew , Mendez-Lazaro, Pablo , Otis, Daniel
Institution: University of South Florida
Current Institution: University of South Florida , University of Puerto Rico - Medical Sciences Campus
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: June 1, 2012 through August 14, 2014 (Extended to May 31, 2016)
Project Period Covered by this Report: June 1, 2012 through May 31,2013
Project Amount: $750,000
RFA: Extreme Event Impacts on Air Quality and Water Quality with a Changing Global Climate (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Water Quality , Climate Change , Air , Water


The objective of this project is to assess historical changes over the past 150 years in the major estuaries of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Territories in the Caribbean Sea based on instrument records of precipitation, water and air temperature, storm intensity and frequency, wind speed and direction, precipitation, river discharge, nutrient and sediment loading, and water level records. These records will be analyzed in the context of high spatial resolution, repeated, frequent synoptic satellite-based observations of water clarity made over the last 10-15 years. A decision-support system will be created to provide scientists, managers, and the general public with up to date information on water quality within estuaries in the study area.

Progress Summary:

During the first year of this project, observations of meteorological variables, including air and water temperature, wind speed and direction, and precipitation, along with tidal (water level) data were obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). River discharge data were obtained from the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Data with the longest possible data records were obtained in each of the eight estuaries that are the focus of this study, with some records spanning 150 years.
Within each estuary, in-situ water quality observations were obtained to assess water quality trends and validate satellite-derived turbidity products. These data, which include monthly observations of parameters related to water clarity, such as turbidity, chlorophyll concentration, total suspended solids, and Secchi disk depth, were obtained from a variety of sources, including National Estuary Program (NEP) offices in each estuary, state and local environmental agencies, local water utilities, as well as the USGS and EPA.
Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) ocean color images were processed and extracted for locations in each estuary where in-situ water quality observations exist. Time-series of remote-sensing reflectance at 645 nm [Rrs(645)] with a spatial resolution of 250 m have been constructed for the refinement of algorithms to estimate water clarity using satellite measurements. Satellite-derived turbidity products have been validated by comparison with in-situ observations.
Land cover data were downloaded from two sources: the USGS Enhanced Historical Land-Use and Land-Cover Data Sets, and the NOAA Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP). Both sources have a spatial resolution of 30 meters.

Future Activities:

During the next year of this project, we will be focused on completing a full statistical analysis of the time-series data, as well as identifying and quantifying extreme events in the time-series. Feedback from managers, end-users, and other stakeholders will be gathered and used to design the decision-support tool and web portal to disseminate data-products. Hindcast satellite products will be tested against known events in each estuary in order to refine and validate our algorithms. We will also prepare publications of our initial findings, attend the mid-year team meeting, and document our progress in quarterly and annual reports.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 7 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Water Quality, climate change, environmental variability, turbidity, particulate matter, red tides, harmful algal blooms, satellite remote sensing, land use

Relevant Websites:

http://imars.usf.edu/ (Institute for Marine Remote Sensing at USF's College of Marine Science)Exit EPA Disclaimer

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • Final Report