Harmful Algal Blooms: A Science and Security Concern

Authors: Dan Opstal*, US Geological Survey, Terry Slonecker, US Geological Survey, Nancy Simon, US Geological Survey
Topics: Remote Sensing, Environment
Keywords: HAB, algal, blooms, remote, sensing, hyperspectral, imagery, security, science
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are runaway growths of algae that cause discoloration of both marine and fresh water bodies worldwide. HABs are a growing environmental problem and a burgeoning national security concern related to global food supplies and poor human health causing instability. Fueled by increased nutrient loads and warming temperatures, HABs often contain toxins that are detrimental to both marine and human life. Massive kills of various marine life are attributed to HABs and the problem worsens every year.

Although satellite remote sensing is used to monitor and map HAB outbreaks, limited progress has been made with respect to understanding the onset of outbreaks, HAB growth patterns or the emergence of toxins that can be deadly.
HABs are uniquely related to biological pigments and ideal candidates for analysis via spectral remote sensing if detected in a timely manner. With the impending launch of hyperspectral satellites EnMAP and HyspIRI, starting in 2020, and with the development of hyperspectral UAV cameras and microscopes, new forms of multiscale hyperspectral analysis of HABs are now possible by scientists working in and supporting multiple federal government sectors. This builds on a base layer of HAB research dating back to 1978.

This presentation reviews the basics of HAB remote image characteristics and introduces HAB hyperspectral analysis techniques. It showcases how these types of scientific efforts can be conducted under the auspices of the Civil Applications Committee, which facilitates the appropriate use of various remote sensing resources and data by Federal Civil government partners.

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