Quantifying suspended solids in small rivers using satellite data

Isidro, Celso M., McIntyre, Neil, Lechner, Alex M. and Callow, Ian (2018) Quantifying suspended solids in small rivers using satellite data. Science of The Total Environment, 634 . pp. 1554-1562. ISSN 0048-9697

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.006

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


The management of suspended solids and associated contaminants in rivers requires knowledge of sediment sources. In-situ sampling can only describe the integrated impact of the upstream sources. Empirical models that use surface reflectance from satellite images to estimate total suspended solid (TSS) concentrations can be used to supplement measurements and provide spatially continuous maps. However, there are few examples, especially in narrow, shallow and hydrologically dynamic rivers found in mountainous areas. A case study of the Didipio catchment in Philippines was used to address these issues. Four 5-m resolution RapidEye images, from between the years 2014 and 2016, and near-simultaneous ground measurements of TSS concentrations were used to develop a power law model that approximates the relationship between TSS and reflectance for each of four spectral bands. A second dataset using two 2-m resolution Pleiades-1A and a third using a 6-m resolution SPOT-6 image along with ground-based measurements, were consistent with the model when using the red band data. Using that model, encompassing data from all three datasets, gave an R2 value of 65% and a root mean square error of 519 mg L−1. A linear relationship between reflectance and TSS exists from 1 mg L−1 to approximately 500 mg L−1. In contrast, for TSS measurements between 500 mg L−1 and 3580 mg L−1 reflectance increases at a generally lower and more variable rate. The results were not sensitive to changing the pixel location within the vicinity of the ground sampling location. The model was used to generate a continuous map of TSS concentration within the catchment. Further ground-based measurements including TSS concentrations that are higher than 3580 mg L−1 would allow the model to be developed and applied more confidently over the full relevant range of TSS.

Keywords:Empirical modelling, Philippines, Small-scale mining, Surface reflectance, Total suspended solids, Turbidity
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F810 Environmental Geography
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:42015
Deposited On:15 Oct 2020 09:52

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