11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography


Recent Monitoring of Suspended Sediment Patterns along Louisiana's Coastal Zone Using ER-2 Based MAS Data and Terra Based MODIS Data.

Christopher C. Moeller, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and M. M. Gunshor, W. P. Menzel, O. K. Huh, N. D. Walker, and L. J. Rouse

Remotely monitoring the global environment, including coastal-zone processes, has become increasingly plausible and necessary as satellite-based instruments have advanced and human influence has spread. The MODIS instrument on NASA's EOS Terra satellite is a recent (beginning spring 2000) advance in global monitoring capability with its 36 spectral bands and 250m - 1000m spatial resolution.

In spring, 2001 a NASA high altitude ER-2 aircraft flew missions over coastal Louisiana to monitor suspended sediment patterns in and around the Atchafalaya Bay region of Louisiana. The Atchafalaya Bay is a sediment rich zone of the coastal region, especially in spring when snowmelt and spring rains annually swell the volume of the river discharge into the bay. The coastal sediment influx is distributed by micro tidal influences and wind driven currents in the nearshore zone, accumulating on the shallow subaqueous bottom or remaining in suspension over long distances in the prevailing currents. The ER-2 flights were timed to be coincident with the late morning overpass of the MODIS instrument on Terra. By co-locating MODIS 250m resolution data with MAS (50m resolution) on the ER-2, an effort is underway to establish a coastal suspended sediment concentration product for high sediment coastal regions (type 2 waters). The initial step toward this goal was taken with the spring 2001 ER-2 flights and a boat team collecting in situ and hand-held radiometer measurements. The ground-based measurements form the basis of a suspended sediment concentration estimation algorithm. Transferring this algorithm to MODIS will lead to routine estimation of suspended sediment concentration for coastal sites spread around the globe.

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Poster Session 1, Environmental Applications
Monday, 15 October 2001, 9:45 AM-11:15 AM

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