Inland lakes are an important economic and environmental resource for Michigan. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality have been cooperatively monitoring the quality of selected lakes in Michigan through the Lake Water Quality Assessment program. Through this program, approximately 730 of Michigan's 11,000 inland lakes will be monitored once during this 15-year study. Targeted lakes will be sampled during spring turnover and again in late summer to characterize water quality. Because more extensive and more frequent sampling is not economically feasible in the Lake Water Quality Assessment program, the U.S. Geological Survey and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality investigate the use of satellite imagery as a means of estimating water quality in unsampled lakes. Satellite imagery has been successfully used in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and elsewhere to compute the trophic state of inland lakes from predicted secchi-disk measurements. Previous attempts of this kind in Michigan resulted in a poorer fit between observed and predicted data than was found for Minnesota or Wisconsin. This study tested whether estimates could be improved by using atmospherically corrected satellite imagery, whether a more appropriate regression model could be obtained for Michigan, and whether chlorophyll a concentrations could be reliably predicted from satellite imagery in order to compute trophic state of inland lakes. Although the atmospheric-correction did not significantly improve estimates of lake-water quality, a new regression equation was identified that consistently yielded better results than an equation obtained from the literature. A stepwise regression was used to determine an equation that accurately predicts chlorophyll a concentrations in northern Lower Michigan.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Predicting water quality by relating secchi-disk transparency and chlorophyll a measurements to satellite imagery for Michigan Inland Lakes, August 2002