New Waves August 2007

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

TWRI grant recipient estimates water quality parameters using remote sensing

By Kari Miller

Texas Tech international graduate student Bassil El-Masri worked with his advising professor Dr. A. Faiz Rahman from the Department of Natural Resources Management to develop spectral indices using remote sensing techniques to monitor water bodies.

El-Masri, originally from Lebanon and a recipient of a $5,000 2006-2007 Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) research grant, said that the traditional measurement of water quality requires in situ sampling, which is costly and time-consuming.

“It would be advantageous to watershed managers to be able to detect, maintain and improve water quality conditions at multiple river and lake sites without being dependent on field measurements,” El-Masri said.

According to his final report, remote sensing techniques have the potential to overcome these limitations by providing an alternative means of studying and monitoring water quality over a wide range of both temporal and spatial scales. Several studies have confirmed that remote sensing, a technique used to acquire data from a remote location, can meet the demand for the large sample sizes required for water quality studies conducted on the watershed scale.

El-Masri’s research focused on the use of remote sensing data to monitor and estimate specific water quality parameters, such as chlorophyll a, total Phosphorus and turbidity.

For more information on El-Masri’s research, visit USGS research grants.

Back to Top