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Considerations for future remote sensing activities. Edward D. Santoro, M.S. Monitoring Coordinator Delaware River Basin Commission. (609)883 9500 ext. 268. The DRBC oversees and performs a number of water quality monitoring activities in Tidal and Non-Tidal areas.

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Considerations for future remote sensing activities

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Considerations for future remote sensing activities

Considerations for future remote sensing activities

Edward D. Santoro, M.S.

Monitoring Coordinator

Delaware River Basin Commission

(609)883 9500 ext. 268

Considerations for future remote sensing activities

  • The DRBC oversees and performs a number of water quality monitoring activities in Tidal and Non-Tidal areas.

  • The mainstem Delaware River varies from a shallow wide river environment to a turbid well mixed saline environment.

  • The DRBC sets water quality standards and evaluates compliance with those standards by WQ Zone, and identifies waters out of compliance.

  • In addition to over 95 sites in a fixed station network we also fund automatic monitoring platforms at 7 locations.

  • Analytes include conventional pollutants, toxics, bacteria and biological measurements.

Items to consider

ITEMS To Consider

  • Seamless ability to integrate Remote Sensing activities with ongoing Fixed Station Network Monitoring Activities

  • Integration of results into ARC View & Arc Map software programs.( With a minimum of difficulty)

  • Minimize the need for Environmental Managers & Staff to learn new software.

Items to consider contd

ITEMS To Consider (contd.)

  • Develop portable remote sensing units to allow field crews to identify areas of interest outside of Fixed Station Networks and provide “ground truthing” at those locations.

  • Portable units must be durable!

  • For phytoplankton assemblages: begin to provide some ability to identify Community Structure i.e.; speciation or biomass estimates.

Items to consider contd1

ITEMS To Consider (contd.)

  • Multispectural laser imaging for multi species investigations.

  • Remote sensing for SAV mapping in the marine & freshwater portions of the system.

  • Bathymetry in turbid and non- turbid environments.

  • Comparability across remote sensing spatial scales.

  • Enhanced resolution to 0.5 - 1 meters

Items to consider contd2

ITEMS To Consider (contd.)

  • Determine the spatial distribution of rooted aquatic plants through low-altitude (aircraft) and satellite imagery for locating effects of nutrient contamination.

  • This would require smaller pixel sizes to accommodate varying river widths of less than 400’ or adjustable pixel sizes based upon need.

  • Use of low altitude remote sensors to track heated discharge plumes in colder weather. Vertical integration ??

Update of remote sensing methods

Update of Remote Sensing Methods

  • The Coastal Information Services of NOAA has worked with NASA to refine a recent technology – LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging).

  • Limitation of current sampling methods:

    • Traditional boat sampling can miss algal blooms.

    • Satellite remote sensing resolution is at too large a scale, SEAWIFs & MODUS are typically at 400 m. resolution.

  • NOAA is currently evaluating remote sensing as a practical management tool to access the utility in shallow water, accuracy and rapidity of data turnaround.

  • Airborne remote sensing is a good alternative to satellite imaging.

Remote sensing activities in delaware bay

Remote Sensing Activities in Delaware Bay

  • NJ DEP & DRBC field data collected on the five days April 2001, March, 2002 and April, 2002.

  • These over-flights were evaluated using an active LIDAR Sensor (Light Detection & Ranging).

  • The LIDAR system utilizes a laser flourosensor, a passive hyper-spectral color sensor and a sea surface temperature (SST) sensor.

  • Obvious limitation with LASER

Next steps

Next steps

  • Develop ways to reduce the effect of bottom reflectance

  • Sea grasses turbidity& colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM)

  • Other sensors?

    • Fast

    • Simple

    • Cheap

Considerations for future remote sensing activities

Next steps contd.

  • Preliminary results during 2001 remote sensing over-flights & ground truthing activities in Delaware Bay did not show a good match up between passive organic carbon versus field chlorophyll a.

  • Vendors need to reduce the effects of reflection from: sunglint, bottom reflection.

  • CDOM and turbidity also seem to reduce the effectiveness. However these may comprise some of the parameters of great interest to regulatory agencies.

Considerations for future remote sensing activities

  • This slide shows CDOM using a hyper spectral color sensor. It would be extremely valuable for our pollution control efforts if algorithms were developed to relate these values to dissolved organic carbon levels

  • At DRBC we use carbon as a way to track chlorinated organic compounds such as PCB’s. It would be very useful if high levels of carbon could be discerned using remote sensing to identify plumes and provide for modification of sample collection spatially.

  • For our needs, we require definition at the higher ranges of DOC to be able to identify sources.

  • Useful to have little or no operator limitations.



  • Remote sensing can provide a cost effective way to enhance current monitoring activities.

  • These techniques can provide a more complete picture of the areas regulated.

  • With enhancements, these tools can increase our ability to identify selected pollution sources and guide future monitoring activities.

  • Need to be seamlessly integrated with current tools.

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