A Satellite-based Remote Sensing Technique for Surface Water Quality Estimation

M. V. Japitana, M. E. C. Burce


Remote sensing provides a synoptic view of the earth surface that can provide spatial and temporal trends necessary for comprehensive water quality (WQ) monitoring and assessment. This study explores the applicability of Landsat 8 and regression analysis in developing models for estimating WQ parameters such as pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), total dissolved solids (TDS), total suspended solids (TSS), biological oxygen demand (BOD), turbidity, and conductivity. The input image was radiometrically-calibrated using fast line-of-sight atmospheric analysis (FLAASH) and then atmospherically corrected to obtain surface reflectance (SR) bands using FLAASH and dark object subtraction (DOS) for comparison. SR bands derived using FLAASH and DOS, water indices, band ratio, and principal component analysis (PCA) images were utilized as input data. Feature vectors were then collected from the input bands and subsequently regressed together with the WQ data. Forward regression results yielded significant high R2 values for all WQ parameters except TSS and conductivity which had only 60.1% and 67.7% respectively. Results also showed that the regression models of pH, BOD, TSS, TDS, DO, and conductivity are highly significant to SR bands derived using DOS. Furthermore, the results of this study showed the promising potential of using RS-based WQ models in performing periodic WQ monitoring and assessment.


spectral; reflectance; radiance; water quality modelling; geoinformatics

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