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Towards a Satellite-Based Near Real-Time Monitoring System for Water Quality; September 27th 2017
Pahlevan, N., S. Ackleson, AND B. Schaeffer. Towards a Satellite-Based Near Real-Time Monitoring System for Water Quality; September 27th 2017. EOS. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, 99:1-3, (2018).
A Landsat-8 true-color image of Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, alongside the corresponding near-surface turbidity map (right) produced via the SeaWiFS Data Analysis System (SeaDAS). Varieties of physical/biological phenomena (e.g., swirls, resuspension events) can be inferred from space. This map pinpoints potential biogeochemical hot spots that require further investigations through field sampling.
Declining water quality in inland and coastal systems has become, and will continue to be, a major environmental, social and economic problem as human populations increase, agricultural activities expand, and climate change effects on hydrological cycles and extreme events become more pronounced. Providing government and non-government groups with timely rapid observations on the time and location of anomalous water quality conditions can lead to more informed decisions about the use, management and protection of water resources. By observing the color of the water, satellite sensors provide information on the concentration of the constituents that shape the light field of the water—including chlorophyll-a (Chl), the primary photosynthetic pigment in phytoplankton, total suspended solids (TSS), and dissolved organic matter (DOM)—and on environmentally relevant optical characteristics, such as turbidity and water clarity.