Related Research Areas
Water & Energy Cycles

The present monitoring of estuarine water quality in the Gulf of Mexico is largely based on in situ surveys. These costive and labor intensive efforts may be inadequate to fully characterize short-term status and long-term trends, and thus could lead to biased statistics and decisions. Our first objective is to improve an existing water quality management decision support system (DSS), namely a water quality decision matrix (WQDM), through use of the latest high spatialtemporal satellite (MODIS and others) observations of Tampa Bay (Florida’s largest estuary). Water quality data products of turbidity, clarity (through Sechi disk depth or SDD), and sea surface temperature (SST) have been developed and validated for this turbid estuary, while others (concentrations of total suspended sediments, chlorophyll-a, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and light availability for benthos) are to be improved through this project and other work. These remote sensing data products, together with region-specific water quality criteria, will be analyzed for water quality status and trends, and the results will be incorporated in the ongoing monitoring programs and DSS to reduce spatial/temporal aliasing and thus improve DSS performance. Our second objective is to establish a remote sensing based DSS for wider applicability beyond Tampa Bay, by using other estuaries (e.g., Mobile Bay in Alabama) for performance evaluation. This will greatly enhance our current monitoring and management capacity for many estuaries where limited or no in situ effort exists. The proposed work addresses two GOMA priority areas: water quality and nutrient reduction. It is specifically designed to address one of the priority issues identified by the GOMA Water Quality Priority Issue Team (Action Plan II, 30 June 2008): “To provide information about coastal water-resource status and trends that support informed management decisions.” This is also a component of a concerted effort across the Gulf States under the water quality and nutrient reduction themes under this NASA RFP.

Project PI: Chuanmin Hu/University of South Florida

University of South Florida, College of Marine Science,140 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Phone: (727) 553-3987



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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 04, 2011


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