Can single empirical algorithms accurately predict inland shallow water quality status from high resolution, multi-sensor, multi-temporal satellite data?
- Remote Sensing Laboratory, National Technical University of Athens Heroon Polytechniou 9, 15780 Zographos, Greece
Keywords: Landsat, Reflectance, Earth observation, Monitoring, Environment, Lake
Abstract. Assessing and monitoring water quality status through timely, cost effective and accurate manner is of fundamental importance for numerous environmental management and policy making purposes. Therefore, there is a current need for validated methodologies which can effectively exploit, in an unsupervised way, the enormous amount of earth observation imaging datasets from various high-resolution satellite multispectral sensors. To this end, many research efforts are based on building concrete relationships and empirical algorithms from concurrent satellite and in-situ data collection campaigns. We have experimented with Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 multi-temporal satellite data, coupled with hyperspectral data from a field spectroradiometer and in-situ ground truth data with several physico-chemical and other key monitoring indicators. All available datasets, covering a 4 years period, in our case study Lake Karla in Greece, were processed and fused under a quantitative evaluation framework. The performed comprehensive analysis posed certain questions regarding the applicability of single empirical models across multi-temporal, multi-sensor datasets towards the accurate prediction of key water quality indicators for shallow inland systems. Single linear regression models didn’t establish concrete relations across multi-temporal, multi-sensor observations. Moreover, the shallower parts of the inland system followed, in accordance with the literature, different regression patterns. Landsat 7 and 8 resulted in quite promising results indicating that from the recreation of the lake and onward consistent per-sensor, per-depth prediction models can be successfully established. The highest rates were for chl-a (r2=89.80%), dissolved oxygen (r2=88.53%), conductivity (r2=88.18%), ammonium (r2=87.2%) and pH (r2=86.35%), while the total phosphorus (r2=70.55%) and nitrates (r2=55.50%) resulted in lower correlation rates.