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.