Water quality and coastal vegetation

Traditional methodologies, that for more than a century allowed to study lakes, over the last years have been joined by satellite technologies that allow you to monitor large portions of territory, beyond the geo-political boundaries and in remote areas of the planet with frequent and continuous observations over time. Our study is mainly directed to the monitoring of lakes with some recent experiences in the lagoon and coastal areas that, being areas of transition, are a place of biological, geomorphological, chemical and physical processes that requires an integrated to be understood. The research aims to the implementation of algorithms for the generation of water quality products from remotely sensed data. To date, the parameters that can be derived from remote sensing are:

  • concentration of chlorophyll-a (proxy for phytoplankton). Phytoplankton, consisting of micro-algae, is the basis of the aquatic food chain and is an important variable in estimates of primary production processes. The research also involves the development of algorithms for the recognition of algal pigments, such as phycocyanins present in cyanobacteria. These algae, which are potentially toxic, show frequencies of occurrence steadily increasing and is the major concerns of many water bodies;
  • concentration of totla suspended matter (TSM) and its organic and inorganic fractions. TSM is a tracer input by rivers and / or tax, as a result of resuspension of wind, waves and currents;
  • concentration of yellow-substances (or CDOM, gelbstoff) composed by humic and fulvic acids dissolved in the water. Its origin is both marine / lacustrine (for the degradation of phytoplankton), and terrestrial (for river intake) and is an important variable in the modeling of the carbon cycle;
  • attenuation coefficient along the water column of the irradiance incident and Secchi disk depth: indicators of the euphoticdepth and of the state and water transparency;
  • bottom colonized by submerged vegetaion that is of interest for the ecology of the entire ecosystem;
  • surface temperature that depend on meteorological variables ad can be related to the phenomena of thermal pollution and algal blooms.