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Open AccessArticle

Monitoring Coastal Lagoon Water Quality through Remote Sensing: The Mar Menor as a Case Study

IMIDA, GIS & Remote Sensing, 30150 Murcia, Spain
VURV, Crop Research Institute, 161 06 Prague, Czech Republic
IMIDA, Marine Aquaculture Station, 30740 San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain
Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Universidad de Valencia, 46980 Paterna, Spain
Department of Mining and Civil Engineering, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, 30202 Cartagena, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(7), 1468;
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Remote Sensing and GIS in Aquatic Ecosystems)
The Mar Menor is a hypersaline coastal lagoon located in the southeast of Spain. This fragile ecosystem is suffering several human pressures, such as nutrient and sediment inputs from agriculture and other activities and decreases in salinity. Therefore, the development of an operational system to monitor its evolution is crucial to know the cause-effect relationships and preserve the natural system. The evolution and variability of the turbidity and chlorophyll-a levels in the Mar Menor water body were studied here through the joint use of remote sensing techniques and in situ data. The research was undertaken using Operational Land Imager (OLI) images on Landsat 8 and two SPOT images, because cloudy weather prevented the use of OLI images alone. This provided the information needed to perform a time series analysis of the lagoon. We also analyzed the processes that occur in the salt lagoon, characterizing the different spatio-temporal patterns of biophysical parameters. Special attention was given to the role of turbidity and chlorophyll-a levels in the Mar Menor ecosystem with regard to the programs of integral management of this natural space that receives maximum environmental protection. The objective of the work has been fulfilled by answering the questions of the managers: when did the water quality in the Mar Menor begin to change? What is happening in the lagoon? Is remote sensing useful for monitoring the water quality in the Mar Menor? The answers to these questions have allowed the generation of a methodology and monitoring system to track the water quality in the Mar Menor in real-time and space. The tracking system using satellite images is open to the incorporation of images provided by new multispectral sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mar Menor; spatio-temporal variability; Landsat 8 Mar Menor; spatio-temporal variability; Landsat 8
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Erena, M.; Domínguez, J.A.; Aguado-Giménez, F.; Soria, J.; García-Galiano, S. Monitoring Coastal Lagoon Water Quality through Remote Sensing: The Mar Menor as a Case Study. Water 2019, 11, 1468.

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