Applications of Landsat-5 TM imagery in assessing and mapping water quality in Bankhead Reservoir of the Black Warrior River
Bankhead Reservoir of the Black Warrior River is designated for swimming, fish and wildlife, and to be used as a public water source. The water quality of Bankhead Reservoir is impacted by both point and nonpoint source pollution. Only a limited number of intensive studies have been conducted on Bankhead due to the cost and resources necessary to sample areas distributed throughout the entire system. This research uses remote sensing technologies coupled with a limited number of in situ water samples to estimate and map the concentrations of total suspended solids and chlorophyll-a in Bankhead Reservoir using Landsat TM data. The principle behind the technique used implements spectral reflectance to predict water quality variables via different regression models. The results from this study serve as baseline water quality maps that can be used for comparison in future monitoring. A land use/land cover map was created of the study area to briefly investigate potential land use related causes of water quality variation. The use of remote sensing allows for a more synoptic view of total suspended solids and chlorophyll-a concentrations in Bankhead Reservoir for both spring and summer conditions.