Next Article in Journal
Hazard Assessment Based on the Combination of DAN3D and Machine Learning Method for Planning Closed-Type Barriers against Debris-Flow
Previous Article in Journal
Performance and Kinetics of a Pond-Constructed Wetland System Treating Beef Manure Pile and Exercise Yard Runoff in Eastern Ontario
Open AccessReview

Research Trends in the Use of Remote Sensing for Inland Water Quality Science: Moving Towards Multidisciplinary Applications

1
Department of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 104 South Rd, Mitchell Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
3
Department of Geography, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
4
Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(1), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010169
Received: 2 October 2019 / Revised: 5 December 2019 / Accepted: 31 December 2019 / Published: 7 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
Remote sensing approaches to measuring inland water quality date back nearly 50 years to the beginning of the satellite era. Over this time span, hundreds of peer-reviewed publications have demonstrated promising remote sensing models to estimate biological, chemical, and physical properties of inland waterbodies. Until recently, most of these publications focused largely on algorithm development as opposed to implementation of those algorithms to address specific science questions. This slow evolution contrasts with terrestrial and oceanic remote sensing, where methods development in the 1970s led to publications focused on understanding spatially expansive, complex processes as early as the mid-1980s. This review explores the progression of inland water quality remote sensing from methodological development to scientific applications. We use bibliometric analysis to assess overall patterns in the field and subsequently examine 236 key papers to identify trends in research focus and scale. The results highlight an initial 30 year period where the majority of publications focused on model development and validation followed by a spike in publications, beginning in the early-2000s, applying remote sensing models to analyze spatiotemporal trends, drivers, and impacts of changing water quality on ecosystems and human populations. Recent and emerging resources, including improved data availability and enhanced processing platforms, are enabling researchers to address challenging science questions and model spatiotemporally explicit patterns in water quality. Examination of the literature shows that the past 10–15 years has brought about a focal shift within the field, where researchers are using improved computing resources, datasets, and operational remote sensing algorithms to better understand complex inland water systems. Future satellite missions promise to continue these improvements by providing observational continuity with spatial/spectral resolutions ideal for inland waters. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; water quality; lakes; rivers; inland waters; scientific advancement remote sensing; water quality; lakes; rivers; inland waters; scientific advancement
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Topp, S.N.; Pavelsky, T.M.; Jensen, D.; Simard, M.; Ross, M.R.V. Research Trends in the Use of Remote Sensing for Inland Water Quality Science: Moving Towards Multidisciplinary Applications. Water 2020, 12, 169.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop