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REmote sensing for Seasonal and Overseas Retrieval of Total Suspended Matter (RESORT)

Research project SR/67/112 (Research action SR)


Persons :

  • Dr.  TROUW Koen - International Marine & Dredging Consultants NV (IMDC)
    Coordinator of the project
    Not-financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/12/2006-31/12/2008
  • Dr.  TIREZ Kristof - Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/12/2006-31/12/2008
  • Dr.  KNAEPS Els - Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/12/2006-31/12/2008

Description :

Context and objectives

IMDC prepares specifications and recommendations for the maintenance of dredging works, for the optimization of dredging projects, for environmental monitoring of dredging projects (turbidity generation..) etc. IMDC requires information on the spatial variation of turbidity for the optimization of the dredging locations and dumping sites, the better planning of new harbor locations and the calibration and validation of the sediment transport models. IMDC realizes that remote sensing data can help to overcome the limitations of the traditional, labor-intensive point measurements. For this reason VITO and IMDC conducted the ORMES project. The ORMES project focused mainly on the full capability of state-of-the-art airborne hyperspectral sensors, with some minor tasks devoted to satellite based TSM derivations. The final product of the ORMES project is a user-friendly software for the production of suspended matter maps. By the end of 2006 this software will be implemented at IMDC and TSM concentration maps can be generated from remote sensing data with a limited number of water samples for calibration. Yet, for the software to be fully operational the user partner in the ORMES project (WLB- Waterbouwkundig Laboratorium en Hydrologisch onderzoek - Flanders Hydraulics Research) emphasized the need for:

(1) extending the software for use in other estuarine or coastal environments
(2) identifying its applicability in other seasons
(3) detailed research on the viewing opportunities over sites of interest.


Methodology

(a) regional robustness
RESORT will focus on satellite borne multispectral data to test the regional robustness of the algorithms. These data are more easily to purchase, much cheaper and therefore more suitable for operational use than airborne data. Three regions with clearly different morphology are chosen as test sites; the first one is the Scheldt river near Antwerp which is a very dynamic estuarine environment, the second test site is the Maasvlakte2 which is a deep water area connected to the North Sea, and the third site is the harbor of Doha, situated in a bay in the Persian gulf.

(b) seasonal robustness
RESORT will test the robustness using hyperspectral sensors (e.g. AHS) and will give a deeper insight into the water quality and optical changes that occur during a year in an estuarine environment. An airborne and extensive field campaign are foreseen for the late summer period because these months are most reliable for airborne data collection. Still, to have an idea of the full range of seasonal variability in water quality water samples are taken and optical measurements are done each month of year one. Beside TSM concentration also particle size and particle size distribution (PSD) will be derived from these water samples.


Results expected

We expect to
- Train IMDC in using STK software to determine the suitable time periods of satellite data acquisition for their sites of interest
- Define a TSM retrieval algorithm applicable in different estuarine and coastal environments and in different seasons
- Determine the performance and accuracy limits of this algorithm with taking into account seasonal and regional variability of the optical characteristics of the suspended sediments
- Gain valuable insight into the influence of the particle size distribution (PSD) on the relationship between remote sensing reflectance and TSM concentration.
- Have close contacts with the end-users in order to familiarize them in the use of remote sensing for TSM mapping and to discuss specific user needs


Documentation :

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