Spatio-temporal variability in a turbid and dynamic tidal estuarine environment (Tasmania, Australia): An assessment of MODIS band 1 reflectance

Andrew M. Fischer, Daniel Pang, Ian M. Kidd, Max J. Moreno-Madri án

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number320
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 2017



  • Coastal
  • Estuary
  • Tides
  • Turbidity
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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