First Advisor

Stefan Talke

Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Algal blooms -- Oregon -- Tenmile Lake -- Remote sensing, Algal blooms -- Oregon -- Tenmile Lake -- Measurement, Landsat satellites, Reflectance, Environmental monitoring




The health of North and South Tenmile Lakes in coastal Oregon has declined since the introduction of invasive species of fish and plant life in the 1920s. The lakes are now on the Federal Clean Water Act list of impaired water bodies due, in part, to a lack of dissolved oxygen and Hazardous Algae Blooms (HAB) blooms that occur during June through September. In this report we discuss the possibility of detecting and monitoring these blooms using satellite measurements of water surface color. In-situ measurements obtained from the Tenmile Lakes Basin Partnership were used to calibrate reflectance from the Thematic Mapper on the Landsat 5 satellite. Results show a good linear correlation between turbidity and radiance, which are inversely related in algal dominated lakes. Additionally, a correlation between biovolume and reflectance was obtained. Spatial patterns of turbidity and biovolume are observed, with large concentrations observed in lake areas with large residence times. The comparatively lowest concentrations are observed along the probable pathway of cleaner water input by creeks into the lake. However, the ability to predict turbidity and biovolume from satellite reflectance data is currently complicated by the lack of coincident in-situ and satellite data, and the limited number of spectral bands available to separate turbidity from different species of bacteria and algae.



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A research project report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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