Perpetua: The UAH Journal of Undergraduate Research


College of Science


Atmospheric Science


Dissolved oxygen levels have been declining in the Puget Sound since 2000 due to eutrophication, resulting in Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) events which negatively impact water quality and wildlife in the area. Therefore, analyzing and identifying eutrophication and hypoxic events is integral to water quality control and watershed management. The project team partnered with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) Habitat Program to test methods for monitoring water quality using remote sensing. The team tested multiple algorithms utilizing Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Sentinel-2 Multispectral Imager (MSI) data to detect turbidity and chlorophyll concentrations. Using satellite imagery along with geographic information systems techniques will assist the PSMFC Habitat Program with filling gaps, enhancing local decision-making practices, and water resource management. The Chlorophyll Concentration Map and the ACOLITE Analysis Map highlighted areas such as Skagit Bay and Tacoma Inlet as having high chlorophyll concentrations. Using Pearson’s Correlation statistical analyses, the team found there was no significant relationship between the in situ data and the evaluated algorithms from ACOLITE. This preliminary investigation suggests that further work is necessary in order to utilize satellite data processed with ACOLITE to identify HABs in the Puget Sound area.



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