Hyperspectral Characterization of Harmful Algal Blooms

Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) are an increasingly serious hazard to water quality worldwide. Once considered merely a nuisance, CyanoHAB outbreaks have been increasing in both frequency and severity and result in a number of potentially serious environmental consequences, including toxic effects to human and aquatic health, economic impacts on tourism, and degraded water and air quality.
Cyanobacteria blooms are exacerbated by high nutrient inputs and warmer waters and are optically related to increased concentrations of chlorophyll and phycocyanin pigments and, as their name implies, are fairly easily detected in the visible spectrum. Overhead monitoring via conventional satellite and aircraft remote sensing has been successful in identifying occurrences of CyanoHAB outbreaks in water bodies across the landscape.
We have now developed the capability to utilize imaging spectroscopy for the identification and assessment of algal phenomena at both the near water surface and cellular levels. These possibilities could open up research opportunities that could advance our understanding of cyanoHABs beyond the current state of scientific understanding.
In addition to presenting the state of knowledge on satellite imaging of CyanoHABs, the presenters will also gather audience feedback on their interest in this topic and future research.