Hyperspectral remote sensing of cyanobacterial pigments as indicators for cell populations and toxins in eutrophic lakes

Hunter, Peter D.; Tyler, Andrew N.; Carvalho, Laurence; Codd, Geoffrey A.; Maberly, Stephen C.. 2010 Hyperspectral remote sensing of cyanobacterial pigments as indicators for cell populations and toxins in eutrophic lakes. Remote Sensing of Environment, 114. 2705-2718.

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The growth of mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria is a serious concern for the ecological status of inland waterbodies and for human and animal health. In this study we examined the performance of four semi-analytical algorithms for the retrieval of chlorophyll a (Chl a) and phycocyanin (C-PC) from data acquired by the Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager-2 (CASI-2) and the Airborne Imaging Spectrometer for Applications (AISA) Eagle sensor. The retrieval accuracies of the semi-analytical models were compared to those returned by optimally calibrated empirical band-ratio algorithms. The best-performing algorithm for the retrieval of Chl a was an empirical band-ratio model based on a quadratic function of the ratio of re!ectance at 710 and 670 nm (R2=0.832; RMSE=29.8%). However, this model only provided a marginally better retrieval than the best semi-analytical algorithm. The best-performing model for the retrieval of C-PC was a semi-analytical nested band-ratio model (R2=0.984; RMSE=3.98 mg m−3). The concentrations of C-PC retrieved using the semi-analytical model were correlated with cyanobacterial cell numbers (R2=0.380) and the particulate and total (particulate plus dissolved) pools of microcystins (R2=0.858 and 0.896 respectively). Importantly, both the empirical and semi-analytical algorithms were able to retrieve the concentration of C-PC at cyanobacterial cell concentrations below current warning thresholds for cyanobacteria in waterbodies. This demonstrates the potential of remote sensing to contribute to early-warning detection and monitoring of cyanobacterial blooms for human health protection at regional and global scales.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment > BD - 3.3 - Develop integrated environmental assessments and modelling ...
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.4 - Develop novel and improved methods to enable the sustainable management of freshwaters and wetlands
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.1 - Continued long term monitoring and integrated observation of freshwater systems
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Watt
ISSN: 0034-4257
Additional Keywords: cyanobacteria, human health, microcystin, imaging spectrometry, Loch Leven, remote sensing, earth observation, lake, risk assessment
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 02 Sep 2010 14:13 +0 (UTC)

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