Journal article Open Access

The Use of Multisource Optical Sensors to Study Phytoplankton Spatio-Temporal Variation in a Shallow Turbid Lake

Bresciani, Mariano; Pinardi, Monica; Free, Gary; Luciani, Giulia; Ghebrehiwot, Semhar; Laanen, Marnix; Peters, Steef; Della Bella, Valentina; Padula, Rosalba; Giardino, Claudia

Lake water quality monitoring has the potential to be improved through integrating
detailed spatial information from new generation remote sensing satellites with high frequency
observations from in situ optical sensors (WISPstation). We applied this approach for Lake Trasimeno
with the aim of increasing knowledge of phytoplankton dynamics at dierent temporal and spatial
scales. High frequency chlorophyll-a data from the WISPstation was modeled using non-parametric
multiplicative regression. The ‘day of year’ was the most important factor, reflecting the seasonal
progression of a phytoplankton bloom from July to September. In addition, weather factors such as
the east–west wind component were also significant in predicting phytoplankton seasonal and diurnal
patterns. Sentinel 3-OLCI and Sentinel 2-MSI satellites delivered 42 images in 2018 that successfully
mapped the spatial and seasonal change in chlorophyll-a. The potential influence of localized inflows
in contributing to increased chlorophyll-a in mid-summer was visualized. The satellite data also
allowed an estimation of quality status at a much finer scale than traditional manual methods. Good
correspondence was found with manually collected field data but more significantly, the greatly
increased spatial and temporal resolution provided by satellite and WISPstation sensors clearly oers
an unprecedented resource in the research and management of aquatic resources.

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