Project #5266

Determining the role of spectral imaging as an Early Warning System for presence/significance of algal blooms

In Progress
Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Sydney Samples
American Water
Cyanobacteria & Cyanotoxins
Source Water Protection


The objective of this project is to determine the role of spectral imaging as an Early Warning System (EWS) for the presence and significance of algal blooms in water sources. This will be done with four primary tasks:

1. Compare historic water quality data with respective hyperspectral and multispectral data (from satellites and aircraft/drones) for geographically diverse surface water sources. Prioritize locations based on algal occurrence, seasonality, and nutritional drivers.

2. Evaluate sensitivity/specificity of hyperspectral microscopy for cyanobacteria species identification. Assess resolution and water matrix impacts.

3. Perform field campaign to characterize operational/public health significance of cyanobacteria blooms using increasingly sophisticated water quality procedures.

4. Evaluate hyperspectral and/or multispectral data with laboratory/field samples. Prepare a final report with statistical analyses to develop practical guidance for WRF, utilities, regulators, and other stakeholders.