Aerospace remote sensing monitoring of inland water quality

Anatoly A. Gitelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


The potential of using remote sensing for the detection of chlorophyll-a (CHL), dissolved organic matter (DOM), and suspended matter (SM) concentrations in coastal and inland waters was investigated using near-surface measurements of upwelling and downwelling (IR) radiance spectra along with simultaneous earth-reference data obtained on the test areas. The range of CHL was 0.1 to 350 μg/l, suspended matter was 0.1 to 43 mg/l, and DOM absorption at the analyzed wavelength (380 nm) was 0.1 to 10-1. Factor and signature analysis reveal allometric relationships between constituent concentrations Ck and functions of reflectance Zk of the type Ck = aZkb. Appropriate functions of reflectance were found for the different constituents to be: Zchl1 = R(700)/R(675), Z chl2 = R(700)/R(560), and Zchl3 = [R(700)-R(675)]/[R(700)+R(675)]; and Zsm1 = [R(560)-R(520)]/[R(560)+R(520)], Zsm2 = R(560)/R(520); and Zdom = {R(480)+k[R(700)/R(675)]}/R(630). The maximum estimation errors were: CHL - 3 μg/l, DOM - 0.065 μgC/l, and SM - 4 mg/l. The parameters a and b differ significantly over different water areas for CHL, but this can be adjusted by virtue of good correlation with the averaged local value of CHL (Cchlavg). By using local correction, as in the equation Ck = a(Cchlavg)Zb(Cchlavg), it is possible to detect CHL in water areas of different trophic states with estimation errors varied between 1.75 and 8.34 μg/l. There is a wide range of wavelengths over which a simple reflectance function Z = Ri/Rj works quite well for CHL, permitting use of even such wide-band sensors as MSS Landsat. Band combinations MSS6/MSS4 and MSS6/MSS4 + 5 + 6 are suitable for remote sensing of CHL if the value of Cchl < 150 μg/l. For Cchl < 20 μg/l, MSS5/MSS4 and MSS5/MSS4 + 5 + 6 may be available. For estimating of water quality from space using future space systems like NIRIS and MODIS, suitable imaging wavelengths are derived to be 480, 500, 520, 560, 630, 650, 675, 700, and 710 nm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
PublisherPubl by Int Soc for Optical Engineering
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0819406015, 9780819406019
StatePublished - 1991
EventEarth and Atmospheric Remote Sensing - Orlando, FL, USA
Duration: Apr 2 1991Apr 4 1991


OtherEarth and Atmospheric Remote Sensing
CityOrlando, FL, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Aerospace remote sensing monitoring of inland water quality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this