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Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are becoming an increasing worldwide concern due to the rapid increase of eutrophic waters across the globe. In New York State specifically, cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms are present in over 70,000 acres of water with 63,000 located in Western New York. Current methods for monitoring HABs are expensive, laborious and slow which decreases the efficiency of bloom management and demonstrates the need for more effective bloom documentation. This project represents a pilot study prefacing the use of hyperspectral sensing via both aerial and waterborne vehicles as a method of monitoring HABs in Lake Chautauqua and Lake Seneca. In this study Landsat 8 imagery was processed to obtain chlorophyll-a and algal biovolume data for both lakes. Time series modeling was used to create comprehensive figures diagraming the location and intensity of the blooms. The results showed that blooms had the highest volumes between May and October. Blooms formed in the southern basin of both lakes which was likely due to the presence of stagnant waters. Correlation coefficients of chlorophyll-a concentrations to algal biovolume reveled 0.95-0.99 correlations. This project will ultimately produce a chlorophyll-a and cyanobacteria concentration map, methodology for calibration of hyperspectral data and an algorithm for future cyanobacteria detection.



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The Use of Spectral Remote Sensing to Detect, Monitor, and Predict Harmful Algal Bloom Location and Intensity