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1st March 2012

The use of remote sensing to detect and monitor algal and cyanobacterial blooms

Scottish Loch

At a UK and European level there is currently no suitable way to measure the frequency and intensity of algal blooms. One of the major stumbling blocks is the cost involved in undertaking sufficient sampling (and counting) of the frequency of algal blooms at a large number of sites. Additionally, a single sample may not be representative of an algal bloom, in particular cyanobacterial blooms, which can form surface scums and be blown towards lake shorelines. The use of satellite remote sensing can overcome some of these problems. This report describes the considerable potential for high frequency monitoring of large lakes using remote sensing (MERIS sensor on the Envisat satellite).