Comparative Analysis of Empirical and Machine Learning Models for Chl<i>a</i> Extraction Using Sentinel-2 and Landsat OLI Data: Opportunities, Limitations, and Challenges
Amir M. Chegoonian,
Peter R. Leavitt,
Helen M. Baulch,
Claude R. Duguay
Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, Volume 49, Issue 1
Remote retrieval of near-surface chlorophyll-a (Chla) concentration in small inland waters is challenging due to substantial optical interferences of various water constituents and uncertainties in the atmospheric correction (AC) process. Although various algorithms have been developed to estimate Chla from moderate-resolution terrestrial missions (∼10–60 m), the production of both accurate distribution maps and time series of Chla has proven challenging, limiting the use of remote analyses for lake monitoring. Here, we develop a support vector regression (SVR) model, which uses satellite-derived remote-sensing reflectance spectra (Rrsδ) from Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 images as input for Chla retrieval in a representative eutrophic prairie lake, Buffalo Pound Lake (BPL), Saskatchewan, Canada. Validated against in situ Chla from seven ice-free seasons (N ∼ 200; 2014–2020), the SVR model outperformed both locally tuned, Rrsδ-fed empirical models (Normalized Difference Chlorophyll Index, 2- and 3-band, and OC3) and Mixture Density Networks (MDNs) by 15–65%, while exhibiting comparable performance to a locally trained MDN, with an error of ∼35%. Comparison of Chla retrieval models, AC processors (iCOR, ACOLITE), and radiometric products (Rayleigh-corrected, surface, and top-of-atmosphere reflectance) showed that the best Chla maps and optimal time series (up to 100 mg m−3) were produced using a coupled SVR-iCOR system.
Instrumented buoys are used to monitor water quality, yet there remains a need to evaluate whether in vivo fluorometric measures of chlorophyll a (Chl a) produce accurate estimates of phytoplankton abundance. Here, 6 years (2014–2019) of in vitro measurements of Chl a by spectrophotometry were compared with coeval estimates from buoy-based fluorescence measurements in eutrophic Buffalo Pound Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. Analysis revealed that fluorometric and in vitro estimates of Chl a differed both in terms of absolute concentration and patterns of relative change through time. Three models were developed to improve agreement between metrics of Chl a concentration, including two based on Chl a and phycocyanin (PC) fluorescence and one based on multiple linear regressions with measured environmental conditions. All models were examined in terms of two performance metrics; accuracy (lowest error) and reliability (% fit within confidence intervals). The model based on PC fluorescence was most accurate (error = 35%), whereas that using environmental factors was most reliable (89% within 3σ of mean). Models were also evaluated on their ability to produce spatial maps of Chl a using remotely sensed imagery. Here, newly developed models significantly improved system performance with a 30% decrease in Chl a errors and a twofold increase in the range of reconstructed Chl a values. Superiority of the PC model likely reflected high cyanobacterial abundance, as well as the excitation–emission wavelength configuration of fluorometers. Our findings suggest that a PC fluorometer, used alone or in combination with environmental measurements, performs better than a single-excitation-band Chl a fluorometer in estimating Chl a content in highly eutrophic waters.
Haig HA, Chegoonian AM, Davies J-M, Bateson D, Leavitt PR. 2021. Marked blue discoloration of late winter ice and water due to autumn blooms of cyanobacteria. Lake Reserv Manage. XX:XXX–XXX.Continu...