Space-borne water quality assessment

Understanding river water quality is critical for various purposes such as ensuring drinking water safety, protecting public health and aquatic habitat, monitoring pollution, and disease control. The traditional approach to investigating water quality is by acquiring water samples at fixed-locations, which is time and cost consuming and cannot discover spatial distribution of water quality over a large area. The goal of this proposal is using remote sensing imagery to provide a complementary method to map and monitor water quality in large areas at real time. Satellite images, acquired concurrently with ground survey, are utilized to model water quality by using ground-surveyed water samples as reference. Different water quality parameters are mapped, and provided to governments and water resource managers, in order to improve decision making, save mapping time, and reduce project budget. This study can be extended to water quality monitoring in lakes and shallow ocean environments. In addition, components of this study (e.g. bathymetric mapping, measurement of river channel geometry) can be used for fish habitat assessment, hydraulic modeling, and sediment transport analysis.

Faculty Supervisor:

Murray Richardson


Chuiqing Zeng


Fluvial Systems Research Inc.


Environmental sciences


Natural resources


Carleton University



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