Remote Detection of Harmful Algal Blooms Using the Sentinel-2 MultiSpectral Instrument

Authors: Carly Robbins*, Clark University
Topics: Remote Sensing, Coastal and Marine, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: harmful algal blooms, HABs, sentinel 2, sentinel 3, NOAA, remote sensing, ocean color, chlorophyll-a, satellite inter-comparison
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download


While harmful algal blooms (HABs) are naturally occurring, their frequency, duration, and intensity have been increasing with the rise in human population. HABs are not only an ecological problem, but they are also a public safety and economic concern. Therefore, it is critical that we be able to detect, monitor, and predict HABs. Through remote sensing techniques, we are able to detect and monitor these blooms. Currently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration analyzes Sentinel-3 satellite imagery (300 m spatial resolution) to track the blooms. However, state public health and environmental managers would like higher resolution to get insight into bloom conditions in smaller water bodies. With a spatial resolution of 20 m, Sentinel-2 may provide answers. In this study, we compared algae biomass products derived from Sentinel-2 and 3 in order to conduct a satellite match up. Ultimately, we assessed the potential of high resolution satellite Sentinel-2 for detection of HABs in smaller lakes unseen by Sentinel-3 and then validated the relationship to determine its generalizability.

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