Cyanobacterial blooms appear seasonally across the state in water bodies of various sizes, posing a risk to drinking water supplies, irrigation, and recreation. Currently, the state is challenged to monitor these potentially harmful events systematically.

The SWAMP program (Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program) has partnered with NOAA to monitor the state's larger lakes on a routine basis via satellite images. Satellite remote sensing will aid the State of California in assessing cyanobacterial bloom threats to animal and human health across the state’s numerous large lakes. The use of satellite imaging will help the state characterize the seasonality, spatial distribution, and development of the blooms.

SFEI will serve as the steward of the data and the developer of the software to process and display the salient information. A web-based tool will provide access to the geospatial satellite images and visualize bloom information generated by the Ocean Land Coloring Instrument and made available by NOAA.

 

 

 

Continuing Work:

    SFEI continue to explore opportunities to improve reporting tools for Cyanobacterial blooms. We are currently looking into utilizing higher resolution imagery sources with faster return rates to provide more detailed and timely products. We are currently workign with Planet to utilize their Planet Scope imagery with encouraging results. Further work to refine and standardize these products will help us provide information that gives more actionable information for lake managers and the public to protect human health. 
 

Comparison of OLCI Cyano Index vs Draft SFEI product using Planet imagery with NIR bands

     Above are two images of a Cyanobaterial bloom on Clear Lake on February 28th, 2017. The image to the Left uses OLCI Cyano Index and the image on the right uses a Draft product using a mosaic of 4 band Planet Scope images. Planet Scope provides a spatial resolution of 3m while OLCI provides a spatial resolution of 300m. Note how the detection of blooms line up to a large extent. Planet Scope lacks the number and specificity of spectral bands of OLCI, which makes separating Cyanobaterial blooms from other blooms difficult useing Planet Scope alone. However, the increased spatial and temporal resolution provide additional benefits, for detection and analysis, which are further realized when used in conjunction with OLCI products. .

  

Above are a series of three zoomed-in images depecting the same location on Clear Lake. Each image includes a motor boat passing through a cyanobaterial bloom. From left to right: Planet truecolor imagery, Planet SFEI Draft Bloom Product, OLCI Cyano Index. Note the higher spatial resolution and detail in Planet Scope imagery.

     SFEI continue to explore opportunities to improve reporting tools for Cyanobacterial blooms. We are currently looking into utilizing higher resolution imagery sources with faster return rates to provide more detailed and timely products. We are currently workign with Planet to utilize their Planet Scope imagery with encouraging results. Further work to refine and standardize these products will help us provide information that gives more actionable information for lake managers and the public to protect human health. 

Dates: 
2015 to 2017
Programs and Focus Areas: 
Clean Water Program
Environmental Informatics Program
Location Information
General Project Location(s): 
California