Mentors/Advisors (affiliation): Dr. Jeff Luvall (Marshall Space Flight Center, Global Hydrology and Climate Center), Dr. Robert Griffin (University of Alabama Huntsville), Africa Flores (SERVIR), Eric Anderson (NASA SERVIR)
Past or Other Contributors: ADEM – Alabama Department of Environmental Management
Alabama SWCC – Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee
NASA/SERVIR – Regional Visualization and Monitoring System
Team Location: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Abstract: Inland water quality measurements are integral to the monitoring, control, and prevention of surface water pollution. Standard methods of water sampling have been used to estimate inland water quality parameters, but those methods are extremely expensive, time-consuming and do not provide information for an entire water body. Hence, it is important to implement techniques that allow for the monitoring of inland water quality parameters in a timely and cost-effective manner. Upon proper calibration, it is possible to use free, publicly-available NASA data from the Landsat, Terra, and Earth Observing-1 Mission (EO-1) satellites to identify and measure key water quality parameters such as turbidity and Secchi disk depth, both of which can result from anthropogenic impacts of human activities on the water or around the shore and naturally caused effects from rain runoff, animal activity, and other biological contributions. An estimation of the Secchi disk depth transparency in Alabama lakes addresses one of several water quality parameters and is the main focus of this project. Additional qualities observable from satellite remote sensing include: nutrient concentration measurements of chlorophyll-a and phosphorous, water surface temperature, and turbidity (water clarity). Future efforts in follow-on research would improve information on water quality by assessing additional parameters.
Transcript available here.