Mapping the concentrations of total suspended matter in Lake Taihu, China, using Landsat‐5 TM data

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Remote sensing techniques can be used to estimate and map the concentrations of suspended matter in inland water, providing both spatial and temporal information. Although an empirical approach to remote sensing of inland waters has been carried out frequently, satellite imagery has not been incorporated into routine lake monitoring programmes due in part to the lack of a standard prediction equation with multi‐temporal capacity for suspended matter. Empirical and physical models must be developed for each lake and its corresponding turbidity composition if they are to be compared over time, or with other bodies of water. This study aimed to develop and apply multi‐temporal models to estimate and map the concentrations of total suspended matter (TSM) in Lake Taihu, China. Two Landsat‐5 Thematic Mapper (TM) images and nearly contemporaneous in situ measurements of TSM were used. A modified Dark‐Object Subtraction (DOS) method was used, and appeared to be adequate for atmospheric correction. The relationships were examined between TSM concentrations and atmospherically corrected TM band and band ratios. Results of this study show that the ratio TM4/TM1 has a strong relationship with TSM concentrations for lake waters with relatively low concentrations of phytoplankton algae. However, TM3 provided a strong predictive relationship with TSM concentrations despite varied water quality conditions. Different prediction models were developed and compared using multiple regression analysis. The Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) approach was used to choose the best models. The validation of the multi‐temporal capability of the best models indicated that it is feasible to apply the linear regression model using TM3 to estimate TSM concentrations across time in Lake Taihu, even if no in situ data were available.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, George D. Aiken Center, 81 Carrigan Drive, Bington, VT 05405‐0088 2: Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, Chinese Academy of Sciences, PO Box 9718, Beijing, 100101, P. R. China

Publication date: March 20, 2006

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