Cyber-Cyano: Innovative Interface for Cyanobacteria Bloom Monitoring

Earthzine2015 Spring VPS, DEVELOP Virtual Poster Session, Monitoring Water Quality and Hydrology

Category: Monitoring Water Quality and Hydrology

Project Team: Georgia Water Resources III

Team Location: University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia

A Python script (foreground) was developed to generate cyanobacteria biomass maps for four Georgia Power lakes. Lake Jackson (left) and the lower half of Lake Sinclair (right) are shown in the background of the above image. Image Credit: Georgia Water Resources III Team


Benjamin Page

Vinay Kumar

Pradeep Kumar Ragu Chanthar

Caren Remillard


Dr. Deepak Mishra (University of Georgia)

Susan Wilde (University of Georgia)

Past/Other Contributors:

Ike Sari Astuti

Bradley Bartelme

Elizabeth Benyshek

Shuvankar Ghosh

Danielle Haskett

Peter Hawman

Jiaying He

Simmone Simpson


The effects of anthropogenic eutrophication are intensified in Georgia’s watersheds due to increasing temperatures, frequent drought events and agricultural nutrient runoff that promote primary productivity in reservoirs. These factors may ultimately lead to the formation of toxic cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). The spectral properties of phycocyanin, a phycobiliprotein, may be used as a proxy to assess the amount of cyanobacterial biomass that is present in a water body and is useful as a cyanobacterial bloom indicator. The Georgia Water Resources Team I and II developed an upscaling multiple linear regression model procedure to demonstrate the feasibility of using Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) sensors to detect phycocyanin reflectance patterns throughout four Georgia Power reservoirs. This term, we implemented this phycocyanin algorithm into a Web-based graphical user interface (GUI) which can be operated by Georgia Power Geographic Information System (GIS) specialists to generate rapid, high-quality maps characterizing the spatio-temporal distributions of cyanobacteria concentrations. This GUI will assist in the protection and restoration throughout four Georgia Power reservoirs.

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