Detection of Harmful Algal Blooms in the Case II Waters of the Kuwait Bay: Utilizing a Remote Sensing Based Approach
Manche, Cameron1; Sultan, Mohamed1; Becker, Richard2; Chouinard, Kyle1; Tinigan, Laura1
1Western Michigan University, UNITED STATES; 2University of Toledo, UNITED STATES

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have greatly affected aquaculture and desalinization operations in Kuwaiti waters and the surrounding the Arabian Gulf. Thus, there is a need for a means to accurately calculate chlorophyll concentration and detect algal blooms. Through the utilization of satellite data collected by sensors Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS; 583 scenes; temporal resolution: daily; pixel size: 250m) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS; 39800 scenes; temporal resolution: daily; pixel size: 500m) as well as field data (chlorophyll concentrations: from 09/1999 to 07/2011) it is possible to identify spatial and temporal distributions of algal blooms and determine its chlorophyll-a concentration. Products from MERIS and MODIS sensors provide a vast collection of scenes that can be processed with multiple algorithms that can extract chlorophyll-a concentration. In this study, different algorithms (i.e., Ocean Colour2, Ocean Colour3, Generalized Inherent Optical Properties, Chlorophyll-a, Garver-Siegel-Maritorena Bio-Optical Model) were used to calculate chlorophyll-a concentrations and their outputs were then correlated with each other and with the field data. Results indicate: (1) strong linear correlation was observed between chlorophyll-a concentration values extracted from Ocean Colour2 and Ocean Colour3 algorithms using MERIS data when the concentrations ranges between 1 to 10 mg/m3 however, for concentrations greater than 15 mg/m3an exponential relationship is observed, indicating an exaggeration of high chlorophyll concentration events; (2) the range of chlorophyll-a concentrations extracted from MODIS data is higher than that extracted from MERIS data for the same event; (3) for the sampling date of December 11th, 2005 chlorophyll-a concentrations of MERIS, MODIS, and field data show values of 1.93 mg/m3, 4.49 mg/m3, and 9.9 mg/m3 respectively; (3) the variations in the chlorophyll-a concentrations might be attributed to the difference in pixel size between the MERIS and MODIS data. Future work consist of correlating chlorophyll-a concentration for the various algorithms over a larger temporal and spatial extent to determine the most accurate means of detecting algal blooms in case II waters.