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

Hunter P, Tyler A, Carvalho L, Codd G & Maberly SC (2010) Hyperspectral remote sensing of cyanobacterial pigments as indicators for cell populations and toxins in eutrophic lakes. Remote Sensing of Environment, 114 (11), pp. 2705-2718.

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 Spectro- meter 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 reflectance at 710 and 670nm (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.

Cyanobacteria; Human health; Lakes; Microcystin; Imaging spectrometry; Risk assessment

Remote Sensing of Environment: Volume 114, Issue 11

Author(s)Hunter, Peter; Tyler, Andrew; Carvalho, Laurence; Codd, Geoffrey; Maberly, Stephen C
Publication date15/11/2010
Date accepted by journal01/01/1990
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