Using Satellite Images to Infer Chlorophyll Levels in Charlie Lake, BC.

Using Satellite Images to Infer Chlorophyll Levels in Charlie Lake, BC.

By D. Baccante, Charlie Lake Conservation Society

A previous report describes how satellite images can be used to detect aquatic plants and algae in Charlie Lake, BC, throughout the growing season.

This follow-up report explores how well measurements of Chlorophyll a  correlate to levels of green colour measured in satellite images. The purpose is to see if Chlorophyll a levels in Charlie Lake can be inferred by measuring the amount of green in satellite images. This is not an attempt at calibrating satellite images to Chlorophyll a levels so that the latter can be measured by the former. However, by exploring how these two parameters vary, over the approximate same time period (years) and seasonally (month), it will hopefully provide some guidance if a more comprehensive calibration project is contemplated.

Results from this study are encouraging, they indicate that mean Chlorophyll a and green levels from satellite images follow very similar seasonal patterns, as shown in the graph below. Calibrating Chlorophyll a with satellite imagery data would not be difficult or onerous, and it would provide a cost-efficient method of monitoring large numbers of water bodies. Online searches of literature reveal that these tools and methodologies are rapidly increasing in numbers and scope. How well these will work on a specific water body, can only be answered by testing on that water body.

Using Satellite Images to Infer Chlorophyll Levels in Charlie Lake, BC.

 

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