Remote Sensing, Vol. 13, Pages 3867: An Improved Eutrophication Assessment Algorithm of Estuaries and Coastal Waters in Liaodong Bay
Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs13193867
Eutrophication is considered to be a significant threat to estuaries and coastal waters. Various localized studies on the world’s oceans have recognized and confirmed that the Forel-Ule Color Index (FUI) or optical measurements are proportional to several water quality variables based on the relatively clear Chl-a-based waters. However, the application potential of FUI in the turbid estuary with complex optics has not been explored. In this study, we selected the coastal waters in the northern Liaodong Bay as the study area, using the field hyperspectral reflectances (Rrs) collected in 2018 to correct the hue angle and verify the Sentinel-2 images algorithm of FUI by in situ FUI in 2019–2020. The results show that there is a good agreement (R2 = 0.81, RMSE = 1.32, MAPE = 1.25%). Trophic Level Index (TLI) was used to evaluate the eutrophication status. The relationship between the in situ FUI and TLI collected in 2018 was discussed based on the difference in the dominant components of waters, while a number of non-algae suspended solids in the estuaries and coastal waters led to the overestimation of eutrophication based on FUI. The R(560)–R(704) (when FUI is between 11 and 15) and R(665)/R(704) (when FUI is between 19 and 21) was employed to distinguish total suspended matter (TSM)-dominated systems in the FUI-based eutrophication assessment. Based on the analysis, a new approach to assessing the eutrophication of coastal waters in Liaodong Bay was developed, which proved to have good accuracy by the field data in 2019 and 2020 (accuracy is 79%). Finally, we used Sentinel-2 images from Google Earth from 2019 to 2020 and locally processed data from 2018 to analyze the FUI spatial distribution and spatial and temporal statistics of the trophic status in the northern Liaodong Bay. The results show that the northern Liaodong Bay always presented the distribution characteristics of high inshore and low outside, high in the southeast and low in the northwest. The nutrient status is the worst in spring and summer.
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