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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Remote Sensing Techniques to Assess Water Quality

Authors
item RITCHIE, JERRY
item Zimba, Paul
item Everitt, James

Submitted to: Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2002
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Remote sensing technologies have many actual and potential uses for assessing water resources and for monitoring water quality. Suspended sediments, chlorophyll, aquatic plants, and temperature of surface water have been quantitatively measured and mapped with aircraft and spacecraft remote sensor data. As better spectral and spatial resolution data become available from space platforms, we will be able to better discriminate between water quality parameters and to develop a better understanding of light/water/substance interactions. Such information should allow development of models to assess and monitor water quality in streams and water bodies. The integration of remotely sensed data, GPS, and GIS technologies provides a valuable tool for monitoring and assessing waterways. Remotely sensed data also provide a permanent geographically located databases as a baseline for future comparisons. The integrated use eof remotely sensed data, GPS, and GIS will enable consultants and natural resource managers to develop management plans for a variety of natural resource management applications.

Technical Abstract: Remote sensing techniques can be use to monitor water quality parameters (i.e., suspended sediments (turbidity), chlorophyll, temperature). Optical and thermal sensors on boats, aircraft, and satellites provide both spatial and temporal information needed to understand changes in water quality parameters for developing better management practices to improve water quality. Recent and planned launches of satellites with improved spectral and spatial resolution sensors should lead to greater application of remote sensing techniques to assess and monitor water quality parameters. Integration of remotely sensed data, GPS, and GIS technologies provides a valuable tool for monitoring and assessing waterways. Remotely sensed data can be used to create a permanent geographically located image databases to provide a baseline for future comparisons. The integrated use of remotely sensed data, GPS, and GIS will enable consultants and natural resource managers to develop management plans for a variety of natural resource management applications.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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