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Developments in Earth observation for the assessment and monitoring of inland, transitional, coastal and shelf-sea waters
- Tyler, Andrew N., Hunter, Peter D., Spyrakos, Evangelos, Groom, Steve, Constantinescu, Adriana Maria, Kitchen, Jonathan
- The Science of the total environment 2016 v.572 pp. 1307-1321
- algorithms, biogeochemical cycles, coastal water, ecosystems, energy, models, monitoring, remote sensing, satellites, surface water, water quality, Black Sea
- The Earth's surface waters are a fundamental resource and encompass a broad range of ecosystems that are core to global biogeochemical cycling and food and energy production. Despite this, the Earth's surface waters are impacted by multiple natural and anthropogenic pressures and drivers of environmental change. The complex interaction between physical, chemical and biological processes in surface waters poses significant challenges for in situ monitoring and assessment and often limits our ability to adequately capture the dynamics of aquatic systems and our understanding of their status, functioning and response to pressures. Here we explore the opportunities that Earth observation (EO) has to offer to basin-scale monitoring of water quality over the surface water continuum comprising inland, transition and coastal water bodies, with a particular focus on the Danube and Black Sea region. This review summarises the technological advances in EO and the opportunities that the next generation satellites offer for water quality monitoring. We provide an overview of algorithms for the retrieval of water quality parameters and demonstrate how such models have been used for the assessment and monitoring of inland, transitional, coastal and shelf–sea systems. Further, we argue that very few studies have investigated the connectivity between these systems especially in large river–sea systems such as the Danube–Black Sea. Subsequently, we describe current capability in operational processing of archive and near real-time satellite data. We conclude that while the operational use of satellites for the assessment and monitoring of surface waters is still developing for inland and coastal waters and more work is required on the development and validation of remote sensing algorithms for these optically complex waters, the potential that these data streams offer for developing an improved, potentially paradigm-shifting understanding of physical and biogeochemical processes across large scale river–sea systems including the Danube–Black Sea is considerable.