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Using new remote sensing satellites for assessing water quality in a reservoir

Bonansea, Matias, Ledesma, Micaela, Rodriguez, Claudia, Pinotti, Lucio
Hydrological sciences journal 2019 v.64 no.1 pp. 34-44
Landsat, algorithms, data collection, models, monitoring, remote sensing, turbidity, water quality, Argentina
Water quality monitoring could benefit from information derived from the newest generation of medium-resolution Earth observation satellites. The main objective of our study was to assess the suitability of both Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2A satellites for estimating and mapping of Secchi disk transparency (SDT), a common measurement of water clarity, in Cassaffousth Reservoir (Córdoba, Argentina). Ground observations and a dataset of four Landsat 8 and four Sentinel-2A images were used to create and validate models to estimate SDT in the reservoir. The selected algorithms were used to obtain graphic representations of water clarity. Slight differences were found between Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 estimations. Thus, we demonstrated the suitability of both satellites for estimating and mapping water quality. This study highlights the importance of free and readily available satellite datasets in monitoring water quality, especially in countries where conventional monitoring programmes are either lacking or unsatisfactory.