Remote sensing for regional lake water quality assessment: Capabilities and limitations of current and upcoming satellite systems

Leif Olmanson, Patrick L. Brezonik, Marvin E. Bauer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Remote, satellite-based sensing is a cost-effective way to gather information needed for regional water quality assessments in lake-rich areas. A major advantage is that it enables retrieval of current and historic information on lakes that were not part of ground-based sampling programs. Advances over the past decade have enabled the use of satellite imagery for regional-scale measurement of lake characteristics, such as clarity and chlorophyll. For example, in the Midwest USA, historic and recent Landsat water clarity assessments have been conducted on more than 20,000 lakes to investigate spatial and temporal patterns and explore factors that affect water quality. The spatial characteristics of Landsat imagery allow for the assessment of all lakes larger than ~4 ha, but the broad nature and placement of its spectral bands have limited assessments largely for water clarity. European Space Agency (ESA) MERIS imagery with spectral bands that were selected for water has been used to assess chlorophyll for about 900 of Minnesota’s large lakes (those > 150 ha). Improvements of the recently launched Landsat 8 and upcoming ESA Sentinel-2 satellites will expand our capabilities further enabling assessment of other optically related water quality characteristics, such as chlorophyll, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and mineral suspended solids for all lakes, and upcoming Sentinel-3 will continue these capabilities for large lakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Environmental Chemistry
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages111-140
Number of pages30
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameHandbook of Environmental Chemistry
Volume33
ISSN (Print)1867-979X

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the support from the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, project MIN-042-056, and the “U-Spatial” project. P.L.B. received support from a Professional Development for Retirees grant from the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research and Retirees Association.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We gratefully acknowledge the support from the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, project MIN-042-056, and the “U-Spatial” project. P.L.B. received support from a Professional Development for Retirees grant from the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research and Retirees Association.

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.

Keywords

  • CDOM
  • Chlorophyll a
  • Lake water quality
  • Satellite imagery Landsat
  • Secchi depth
  • Sentinel

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