Poyang Lake is the largest freshwater lake in China. Its ecosystem services and functions, such as water conservation and the sustaining of biodiversity, have significant impacts on the security and sustainability of the regional ecology. The lake and wetlands of the Poyang Lake are among protected aquatic ecosystems with global significance. The Poyang Lake region has recently experienced increased urbanization and anthropogenic disturbances, which has greatly impacted the lake environment. The concentrations of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and total suspended matter (TSM) are important indicators for assessing the water quality of lakes. In this study, we used data from the Gaofen-1 (GF-1) satellite, in situ measurements of the reflectance of the lake water, and the analysis of the Chl-a and TSM concentrations of lake water samples to investigate the spatial and temporal variation and distribution patterns of the concentrations of Chl-a and TSM. We analyzed the measured reflectance spectra and conducted correlation analysis to identify the spectral bands that are sensitive to the concentration of Chl-a and TSM, respectively. The study suggested that the wavelengths corresponding to bands 1, 3, and 4 of the GF-1 images were the most sensitive to changes in the concentration of Chl-a. The results showed that the correlation between the reflectance and TSM concentration was the highest for wavelengths that corresponded to band 3 of the GF-1 satellite images. Based on the analysis, bands 1, 3, and 4 of GF-1 were selected while using the APPEL (APProach by ELimination) model and were used to establish a model for the retrieval of Chl-a concentrations. A single-band model that was based on band 3 of GF-1 was established for the retrieval of TSM concentrations. The modeling results revealed the spatial and temporal variations of water quality in Poyang Lake between 2015 and 2016 and demonstrated the capacities of GF-1 in the monitoring of lake environment.
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