The State of Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes; approximately 3,500 of these lakes are greater than 25 acres. The USGS, in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), has been monitoring the quality of inland lakes in Michigan through the Lake Water Quality Assessment monitoring program. Approximately 100 inland lakes will be sampled per year from 2001 to 2015. Volunteers coordinated by MDEQ started sampling lakes in 1974, and continue to sample to date approximately 250 inland lakes each year through the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP), Michigan's volunteer lakes monitoring program. Despite this sampling effort, it is still impossible to physically collect the necessary water-quality measurements for all 3,500 Michigan inland lakes. Therefore, a technique was used by USGS, modeled after Olmanson and others (2001), in cooperation with MDEQ that uses satellite remote sensing to predict water quality in unsampled inland lakes greater than 25 acres.
Water-quality characteristics that are associated with water clarity can be predicted for Michigan inland lakes by relating sampled measurements of secchi-disk transparency (SDT) and chlorophyll a concentrations (Chl-a), to satellite imagery. The trophic state index (TSI) which is an indicator of the biological productivity can be calculated based on SDT measurements, Chl-a concentrations, and total phosphorus (TP) concentrations measured near the lake's surface. Through this process, unsampled inland lakes within the fourteen Landsat satellite scenes encompassing Michigan can be translated into estimated TSI from either predicted SDT or Chl-a (fig. 1).
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Predicting Water Quality by Relating Secchi-Disk Transparency and Chlorophyll a Measurements to Landsat Satellite Imagery for Michigan Inland Lakes, 2001-2006