Research Papers

Airborne hyperspectral imaging of cyanobacteria accumulations in the Potomac River

[+] Author Affiliations
Karl H. Szekielda

city Univerity of New York

George Marmorino

Naval Research Laboratory

Shelia Maness

Science Applications International Corporation

Timothy Donato

DELEX

Jeffrey H. Bowles

U.S. Naval Research Lab.

W. D. Miller, W. J. Rhea

Naval Research Laboratory

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 1(1), 013544 (October 26, 2007). doi:10.1117/1.2813574
History: Received June 21, 2007; Revised October 17, 2007; Accepted October 19, 2007; October 26, 2007; Online October 26, 2007
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Abstract

High-resolution spectroscopy using the Portable Hyperspectral Imager for Low-Light Spectroscopy (PHILLS) was applied to the problem of detecting potentially harmful algae blooms in the coastal environment. Data were collected on two aircraft passes, 30-min apart, over the tidally influenced part of the Potomac River. Use of two wavelengths, 0.676 and 0.700 μm, permitted the detection of surface algae accumulations while avoiding the need for atmospheric corrections, which are problematic in Case-2 water. The analysis identified algal accumulations derived from frontal processes, and narrow, linearly coherent streaks, derived from Langmuir circulation. The streaks increased markedly in number between the two passes and formed a two-dimensional pattern across the river, consistent with the advection time of surface material into windrows. The effect of wind on the patches is primarily a local reorganization of the algal material into new streaks. Spectra from within the streaks compared to those from ambient water showed absorption characteristics consistent with the presence of cyanobacteria. This interpretation is reinforced by available in-situ data. This study illustrates the value of high spectral and temporal resolutions in observing the spatial distribution of the algae, in identifying dominant functional groups, and in understanding the response of the algae to physical forcing.

© 2007 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Karl H. Szekielda ; George Marmorino ; Shelia Maness ; Timothy Donato ; Jeffrey H. Bowles, et al.
"Airborne hyperspectral imaging of cyanobacteria accumulations in the Potomac River", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 1(1), 013544 (October 26, 2007). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2813574


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