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Open AccessArticle

Spatio-Temporal Variability in a Turbid and Dynamic Tidal Estuarine Environment (Tasmania, Australia): An Assessment of MODIS Band 1 Reflectance

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Launceston 7250, Australia
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(11), 320;
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
PDF [2662 KB, uploaded 25 October 2017]


Patterns of turbidity in estuarine environments are linked to hydrodynamic processes. However, the linkage between patterns and processes remains poorly resolved due to the scarcity of data needed to resolve fine scale highly dynamic processes in tidal estuaries. The application of remote sensing technology to monitor dynamic coastal areas such as estuaries offers important advantages in this regard, by providing synoptic maps of larger, constantly changing regions over consistent periods. In situ turbidity measurements were correlated against the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer Terra sensor 250 m surface reflectance product, in order to assess this product for examining the complex estuarine waters of the Tamar estuary (Australia). Satellite images were averaged to examine spatial, seasonal and annual patterns of turbidity. Relationships between in situ measurements of turbidity and reflectance is positively correlated and improves with increased tidal height, a decreased overpass-in situ gap, and one day after a rainfall event. Spatial and seasonal patterns that appear in seasonal and annual MODIS averages, highlighting the usefulness of satellite imagery for resource managers to manage sedimentation issues in a degraded estuary. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal; estuary; water quality; turbidity; tides; MODIS coastal; estuary; water quality; turbidity; tides; MODIS

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Fischer, A.M.; Pang, D.; Kidd, I.M.; Moreno-Madriñán, M.J. Spatio-Temporal Variability in a Turbid and Dynamic Tidal Estuarine Environment (Tasmania, Australia): An Assessment of MODIS Band 1 Reflectance. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 320.

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