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Leveraging eutrophication monitoring in São Paulo state coastal and inland waters via satellite multi-spectral data

Grant number: 23/13904-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2024
Effective date (End): March 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences
Principal Investigator:Cláudio Clemente Faria Barbosa
Grantee:Daniel Andrade Maciel
Host Institution: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil


Brazil is an extensive country with a high availability of aquatic resources, but they are not well distributed throughout the territory. In São Paulo, although presenting a higher population, only 6% of water resources are in the state. Anthropogenic activities such as land use and climate change are putting these resources in danger by increasing drought time, water availability, and eutrophication. Eutrophication is the increase in nutrient availability in the water column, allowing growing phytoplankton biomass and harmful algae blooms. Eutrophication is routinely monitored through Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration, a proxy for phytoplankton biomass. In São Paulo, the Environmental Agency (CETESB) has been monitoring Chl-a in more than five hundred in situ locations. This monitoring is, however, costly and lacks spatiotemporal representativeness. Remote sensing is important in reducing cost and providing a synoptic view of the water bodies. Although several studies estimated Chl-a using RS, an accurate, consistent, general, and robust algorithm that could be applied for a diversity of Optical Water Types (OWT) is not yet available for São Paulo. This project aims to develop an OWT-based model for tracking eutrophication in the São Paulo state coastal and inland waters using Sentinel-2/MSI multi-spectral data, as well as to evaluate the synergy when model is applied to state-of-the-art sensors with improved spectral resolution (Sentinel-3/OLCI, PRISMA, PACE). A comprehensive database, with concurrent measurements of Rrs and Chl-a (N > 7.000) will be used. The algorithms will be validated with in situ data collected by CETESB in São Paulo inland and coastal waters. The results will help understand anthropogenic pressure, rain, and heat waves impact on water quality, as well providing near-real-time Chl-a data, reducing the cost of environmental agencies into WQ monitoring.

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