Animation: remote sensing and satellite data possibilities in water quality monitoring

Institute of Environmental Solutions (IES) invites to discover a potential of satellite data use for water quality monitoring through animation. Thus, demonstrating the possibilities of new remote sensing based tool for lake quality research and monitoring that researchers teamand post-doctorate Tuuli Soomets from IES’s are currently developing.



Inland waters play a critical role in the drinking water supply. Additionally, they are important providers of food and recreational services. It can be challenging to gather water quality data and information of large number of different lakes, using just field sampling approaches.  Remote sensing, such use of satellite data, add spatial and temporal dimension, thus complementing the standard in situ methods and creating more holistic approach of lake research. Moreover, it is not just regional issue. According to the EU's Water Framework Directive, to understand overall lake water quality situation in Europe, it is requested to provide information of the ecological status of all lakes larger than 50 ha. By testing use of satellite data and developing ICT-based remote sensing tool for retrieving water quality products for lake research and monitoring, IES provide solution that contributes both Latvia’s national water monitoring program and EU’s Water Framework Directive.

As it is shown in the animation, remote sensing based monitoring helps to systematically cover a large number of lakes and reservoirs, reducing needs for on-site monitoring infrastructure and efforts. Monitoring water quality in lakes and reservoirs is key in maintaining safe water for drinking, bathing, fishing, agriculture, and aquaculture activities. Researchers from IES are certain that remote sensing is the most practical way to study large amount of lakes provided, because it can acquire and analyse big amount of datasets, thus producing sufficiently accurate estimates of the water characteristics.

The research is a part of the project “ICT-based remote sensing tool for retrieving water quality products for lake research and monitoring” (FLUID), No. Agreement with State Education Development Agency of the Republic of Latvia No. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and partly funded by State budget and the Institute for Environmental Solutions.

Find more about the FLUID project here.