Algal Bloom Monitoring: Remote Sensing

Authored by: Darryl J. Keith

Fresh Water and Watersheds

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138337565
eBook ISBN: 9780429441042
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter provides an overview of the use of satellite remote sensing techniques and technology to observe, forecast, and monitor the temporal and spatial extent of phytoplankton and cyanobacteria abundance in natural waters. The chapter begins with a discussion on the importance of the spectral character of chlorophyll, based on the optical properties or color of ocean, coastal, and inland waters, in estimating phytoplankton abundance. This discussion is followed by an overview of the types of color algorithms and modeling approaches used to detect increased chlorophyll concentrations in marine and freshwater environments as well as forecast the initiation and duration of phytoplankton and cyanobacteria bloom events in the open ocean. An overview is presented of the spectral approaches for estimating bloom concentrations in inland waters and the challenges faced by state and local water quality managers in the routine monitoring of phytoplankton and cyanobacteria bloom events in lakes and drinking water reservoirs. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the challenges that the research and environmental management communities face when incorporating remotely sensed data into monitoring strategies to protect public health.

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