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SFS Annual Meeting

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SATELLITE-BASED MONITORING OF CYANOBACTERIA BLOOMS FROM 2002-2011 FOR 11 RESERVOIRS WITH WATERSHEDS ALONG AN AGRICULTURAL GRADIENT

Imagery acquired by the Envisat Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer from 2002-2011 was used to estimate cyanobacteria cell densities for 11 reservoirs in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, USA (surface areas 8–43 km2; 864 total images spanning May–September). This initial analysis is based on the means of all pixels (300 m resolution) for each reservoir on each observation date. Cyanobacteria cell densities significantly increased as watershed percent forested land cover decreased, and this relationship was strongest in June and July. Mean cyanobacteria cell densities were positively correlated with the means of chlorophyll a, total phosphorus, and total nitrogen, which were sampled intermittently during the timespan coinciding with satellite imagery. Based on the maximum mean cell density observed each year for each reservoir (n=110), 23% of observations had densities posing low risk, 22% had densities posing moderate risk, and 55% had densities posing high risk to human health. Additional work will examine temporal trends and make comparisons to field collected phytoplankton, but based on relationships with watershed land cover and field-based nutrient and chlorophyll measurements, these results highlight the potential usefulness of satellite derived estimates of cyanobacteria.

Nathan Smucker (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, smucker.nathan@epa.gov;


Blake Schaeffer (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. EPA, schaeffer.blake@epa.gov;


Jake J. Beaulieu (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Environmental Protection Agency, beaulieu.jake@epa.gov;


Christopher Nietch (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nietch.christopher@epa.gov;