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Remote Sens., Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2018)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Estuarine water quality is not static, but rather fluctuates on daily to interannual time scales [...] Read more. Estuarine water quality is not static, but rather fluctuates on daily to interannual time scales depending on the forces driving it. Identifying the drivers of water quality across estuaries has been an elusive goal of researchers and managers. Doing so requires a time series of frequent and synoptic sampling to capture short- and long-term variability over a large area. All 11 National Estuary Program (black outlines) estuaries of the US Gulf of Mexico were mapped for a water quality proxy (Rrs645), representing turbidity, from 2000–2014 using near-daily MODIS satellite imagery. These whole-estuary time series of water quality were then compared with observations of eight environmental drivers on weekly to annual time scales. Statistical relationships identified wind speed (bottom panel example) as the most consistent driver of water quality variability across estuaries and time scales. View this paper