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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(10), 12909-12941; doi:10.3390/rs71012909

Water Quality and River Plume Monitoring in the Great Barrier Reef: An Overview of Methods Based on Ocean Colour Satellite Data

1
Catchment to Reef Research Group, Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, James Cook University, QLD 4811, Australia
2
Marine Spatial Ecology Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Magaly Koch, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 30 July 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 30 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Flood Monitoring and Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1433 KB, uploaded 12 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

A strong driver of water quality change in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the pulsed or intermittent nature of terrestrial inputs into the GBR lagoon, including delivery of increased loads of sediments, nutrients, and toxicants via flood river plumes (hereafter river plumes) during the wet season. Cumulative pressures from extreme weather with a high frequency of large scale flooding in recent years has been linked to the large scale reported decline in the health of inshore seagrass systems and coral reefs in the central areas of the GBR, with concerns for the recovery potential of these impacted ecosystems. Management authorities currently rely on remotely-sensed (RS) and in situ data for water quality monitoring to guide their assessment of water quality conditions in the GBR. The use of remotely-sensed satellite products provides a quantitative and accessible tool for scientists and managers. These products, coupled with in situ data, and more recently modelled data, are valuable for quantifying the influence of river plumes on seagrass and coral reef habitat in the GBR. This article reviews recent remote sensing techniques developed to monitor river plumes and water quality in the GBR. We also discuss emerging research that integrates hydrodynamic models with remote sensing and in situ data, enabling us to explore impacts of different catchment management strategies on GBR water quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; Great Barrier Reef; ocean colour; water quality; marine monitoring program remote sensing; Great Barrier Reef; ocean colour; water quality; marine monitoring program
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Devlin, M.J.; Petus, C.; da Silva, E.; Tracey, D.; Wolff, N.H.; Waterhouse, J.; Brodie, J. Water Quality and River Plume Monitoring in the Great Barrier Reef: An Overview of Methods Based on Ocean Colour Satellite Data. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 12909-12941.

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