Applications of Landsat-5 TM imagery in assessing and mapping water quality in Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee


Water quality in Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee, was investigated in the field over 15 years ago. However, the spatial variations of water quality were not studied. The remote sensing technique has been proved a powerful tool in mapping spatial distributions of some water quality parameters such as chlorophyll-a concentration. Additionally, different regression methods and various independent variables have been used to establish relationships between water quality parameters and spectral reflectance. The results from this study indicate that Landsat TM2 and TM3, as a set of independent variables in multivariate regression analysis, are good predictors of water quality in Reelfoot Lake. TM2 is positively correlated to water quality, and TM3 is negatively correlated to water quality. Poor water quality, or a high algae load, results in a high reflectance measured by TM2 and a low reflectance measured by TM3. Maps of spatial distribution of Secchi disk depth, turbidity, chlorophyll-a, and total suspended solids present apparent spatial variations of water quality in the lake.

Publication Title

International Journal of Remote Sensing