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Remote monitoring of hypersaline environments in San Francisco Bay, CA, USA

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As part of a historic remediation project, approximately 61 km2 of salt evaporation ponds in the southern portion of San Francisco Bay, CA (USA) are scheduled for restoration to natural tidal marsh habitat over the next several decades. We have investigated the correlation of remotely sensed infrared spectral information with in situ field measurements and sampling, and evaluated the usefulness of a remote sensing approach to monitor salinity and population distributions of microbial communities in the hypersaline ponds. The Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) instrument operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created a ten-year archive of spectral information concerning these ponds. We utilized spectral signatures of microbial populations that are sensitive to salinity, and trained a supervised classification algorithm to identify physical parameters from an AVIRIS scene based upon microbe spectra gathered in the field using a portable visible to near-infrared (VNIR) spectrometer. Our results indicate that automated analyses of hyperspectral observations are capable of detecting variations in microbial populations and discriminating corresponding salinity levels.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043,NASA Ames Research Center, MS 245-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035,Now at: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MS 183-301, Pasadena CA 91109 2: NASA Ames Research Center, MS 245-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035,Barton College, Wilson, NC 27893-7000 3: Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043,NASA Ames Research Center, MS 245-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035 4: NASA Ames Research Center, MS 245-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035 5: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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