Satellite-based water quality monitoring for improved spatial and temporal retrieval of chlorophyll-a in coastal waters
2015 (English)In: Remote Sensing of Environment, ISSN 0034-4257, E-ISSN 1879-0704, Vol. 158, 417-430 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The coastal zones are the most inhabited areas of the world and are therefore strongly affected by humans, leading to undesirable environmental changes that may alter the ecosystems, such as eutrophication. In order to evaluate changes in the environment an effective water quality monitoring system for the coastal zones must be in place. The chlorophyll-a concentration is commonly used as a proxy for phytoplankton biomass and as indicator for eutrophication and it can be retrieved from ocean colour remote sensing data. Several operational monitoring systems based on remote sensing are in place to monitor the open sea and, to some extent, the coastal zones. However, evaluations of coastal monitoring systems based on satellite data are scarce. This paper compares the chlorophyll-a concentrations retrieved from an operational satellite system based on MERIS (Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrophotometer) data with ship-based monitoring for the productive seasons in 2008 and 2010, in a coastal area in the Baltic Sea. The comparisons showed that the satellite-based monitoring system is reliable and that the estimations of chlorophyll-a concentration are comparable to in situ measurements in terms of accuracy and quantitative retrieval. A very strong correlation was found between measurements from satellite-derived chlorophyll-a compared to in situ measurements taken close in time (0-3 days), with RMSE of 64% and a MNB of 17%. The comparison of the monthly means showed improved RMSE and a MNB of only 8%. Furthermore, this study shows that MERIS is better at capturing spatial dynamics and the extent of phytoplankton blooms than ship-based monitoring, since it has a synoptic view and higher temporal resolution. Satellite-based monitoring also increases the frequency of chlorophyll-a observations considerably, where the degree of improvement is dependent on the sampling frequency of the respective monitoring programme. Our results show that ocean colour remote sensing can, when combined with field sampling, provide an improved basis for more effective monitoring and management of the coastal zone. These results are important for eutrophication assessment and status classifications of water basins and can be applied to a larger extent within national and international agreements considering the coastal zones, e.g. the European Commission's Water Framework Directive.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 158, 417-430 p.
Water quality assessment, Chlorophyll-a, Coastal zone, MERIS, Eutrophication, Monitoring, Management, Remote sensing
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject Marine Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115272DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2014.11.017ISI: 000348879100030OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-115272DiVA: diva2:799812