Science Inventory

Cyanobacteria Assessment Network - Mobile device application for monitoring cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms using Sentinel-3 satellite Ocean and Land Colour Instruments


Galvin, M., B. Schaeffer, R. Parmar, K. Wolfe, AND JohnM Johnston. Cyanobacteria Assessment Network - Mobile device application for monitoring cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms using Sentinel-3 satellite Ocean and Land Colour Instruments. iEMSs 2018, Fort Collins, CO, June 24 - 28, 2018.


Water quality is a critical consideration in determining water resource availability for human consumption, aquatic life, and recreation (U.S. EPA, 2013). Harmful algal blooms are environmental events that occur when algal or cyanobacterial populations impact water quality and result in negative environmental or health consequences (Smayda, 1997). New tools are needed to facilitate the development of reliable and cost-effective monitoring programs at lake, watershed, state, regional, and national scales. Unlike previous software packages, a mobile device application (app) would reduce the need for scientific expertise in ocean color interpretation and hardware associated with the use of satellite data. An app would provide intuitive ability through a graphical user interface (GUI) to scan water bodies for changes in cyanoHAB abundance without expertise in computer programming or computer languages. Georeferenced data would allow managers to monitor their particular water bodies of interest without having to filter through numerous satellite images of water bodies not associated with their region. With a mobile phone app, in addition to obtaining a current cyanoHAB abundance value, users would also obtain a time-series of historical cyanoHAB values for the location of interest, providing temporal context.


The Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) is a multi-agency (NASA, USGS, NOAA, and EPA) project and its mission supports the environmental management and public use of U.S. lakes and reservoirs by providing a capability of detecting and quantifying algal blooms using satellite data records and disseminating this information through CyAN, a mobile application developed and hosted by EPA. The app provides water quality managers with a user-friendly platform that reduces the complexities associated with accessing satellite data to allow fast, efficient, initial assessments across lakes and reservoirs. Data from the European Space Agency Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite Ocean and Land Colour Instruments (OLCI) are used in near real-time to make initial water quality assessments and quickly alert managers to potential problems and emerging threats related to cyanobacteria. Users can track cyanobacteria biomass in their waterbodies of interest by marking the waterbodies with thumb pins. The app currently hosts 2017 and 2018 OLCI-derived cyano imagery and is available to US state environmental and health agencies through Android-based mobile devices. The cyano data covers the continental U.S. at 300 meter resolution, and represents the weekly maximum value cyanobacteria response of over 2,370 resolvable lakes and reservoirs. The imagery is updated on a weekly schedule (previous week’s data are available mid-current week) to provide a near real-time view of cyano water quality at user-selected areas of interest.

URLs/Downloads:   Exit

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 06/28/2018
Record Last Revised: 10/05/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 342728