Monitoring Water Quality in Complex Wetland Systems Using Remote Sensing: Case Study of the Peace-Athabasca Delta

Authors: Syler Behrens*, , Mark Fonstad, University of Oregon
Topics: Remote Sensing, Water Resources and Hydrology, Environmental Science
Keywords: Water quality, aquatic remote sensing, Peace-Athabasca Delta, wetlands
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Astor Ballroom I, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Earth’s hydrology is made up of complex systems which are spatially varied and influence a number of ecosystem processes. There have been advances in the ways in which we study these environments, yet it remains important to determine the most efficient tools in order to accurately monitor ecosystem health in these regions. The process of monitoring water quality in freshwater-dominated, wetland systems is costly and often impractical due to the remote locations of areas of interest. Through the application of remote sensing methods, this study explores how Landsat imagery can be analyzed to detect proxies for organic elements such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous. To monitor these biogeochemical cycles of such elements in a wetland system, various proxies will be used to quantify and determine the spatial distribution of each including suspended sediment, chlorophyll and colored dissolved organic matter. Results of the study demonstrate the extent to which these proxies can provide insight into water quality in the complex wetland ecosystems. By studying the extent to which remote sensing methods can be used to study water quality in areas such as the Peace-Athabasca Delta, it will be possible to assess the feasibility of applying these methods to comparable ecosystems of interest.

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