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Open AccessArticle

Temporal Variation of Chlorophyll-a Concentrations in Highly Dynamic Waters from Unattended Sensors and Remote Sensing Observations

School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
National Satellite Ocean Application Service, State Oceanic Administration, Beijing 100081, China
Key Laboratory of Space Ocean Remote Sensing and Application, State Oceanic Administration, Beijing 10081, China
State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301, China
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
Key Laboratory of Coastal Environmental Processes and Ecological Remediation, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai 264003, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2699;
Received: 10 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
Monitoring of water quality changes in highly dynamic inland lakes is frequently impeded by insufficient spatial and temporal coverage, for both field surveys and remote sensing methods. To track short-term variations of chlorophyll fluorescence and chlorophyll-a concentrations in Poyang Lake, the largest freshwater lake in China, high-frequency, in-situ, measurements were collected from two fixed stations. The K-mean clustering method was also applied to identify clusters with similar spatio-temporal variations, using remote sensing Chl-a data products from the MERIS satellite, taken from 2003 to 2012. Four lake area classes were obtained with distinct spatio-temporal patterns, two of which were selected for in situ measurement. Distinct daily periodic variations were observed, with peaks at approximately 3:00 PM and troughs at night or early morning. Short-term variations of chlorophyll fluorescence and Chl-a levels were revealed, with a maximum intra-diurnal ratio of 5.1 and inter-diurnal ratio of 7.4, respectively. Using geostatistical analysis, the temporal range of chlorophyll fluorescence and corresponding Chl-a variations was determined to be 9.6 h, which indicates that there is a temporal discrepancy between Chl-a variations and the sampling frequency of current satellite missions. An analysis of the optimal sampling strategies demonstrated that the influence of the sampling time on the mean Chl-a concentrations observed was higher than 25%, and the uncertainty of any single Terra/MODIS or Aqua/MODIS observation was approximately 15%. Therefore, sampling twice a day is essential to resolve Chl-a variations with a bias level of 10% or less. The results highlight short-term variations of critical water quality parameters in freshwater, and they help identify specific design requirements for geostationary earth observation missions, so that they can better address the challenges of monitoring complex coastal and inland environments around the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: chlorophyll-a; remote sensing; Poyang Lake; temporal scale; sampling strategy chlorophyll-a; remote sensing; Poyang Lake; temporal scale; sampling strategy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, J.; Tian, L.; Song, Q.; Sun, Z.; Yu, H.; Xing, Q. Temporal Variation of Chlorophyll-a Concentrations in Highly Dynamic Waters from Unattended Sensors and Remote Sensing Observations. Sensors 2018, 18, 2699.

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