Developing innovative tool for improved lake research and monitoring in Latvia


The Institute for Environmental Solutions in cooperation with Estonian researcher Dr. Tuuli Soomets and Estonian Marine Institute has started the FLUID project aiming to support the national lake monitoring services by developing innovative satellite products for regional user needs.


During the project, the Estonian researcher with the support of supervisor team containing of remote sensing and freshwater scientists will create the method that can help to fill the gaps in Latvia’s national water monitoring program, thus supporting smart and scientifically based decisions for lake management in Latvia. Currently, the water monitoring program is fully based on field sampling methods which is time consuming and expensive. Remote sensing offers to add spatial and temporal dimension thus complementing the standard in situ techniques and creating more holistic approach of lake research. The expected result of the Fluid project, is improved remote sensing tool for lake research and assessment that could be used not only in Latvia, but also in other countries which have similar inland water characteristics (e.g. Estonia).

To understand the whole spectrum of the lake ecosystem, the FLUID project is going to use the expertise of lake researchers and remote sensing experts and researchers. Four study sites were selected – Lake Burtnieks, Lake Lubāns, Lake Rāzna in Latvia and Lake Võrtsjärv in Estonia, where the three-level research (in-situ, airborne and space borne) will be implemented.  Both Latvian and Estonian sampling campaigns will include in situ water sampling and measurements. The analysis of in situ measurements will be combined with simultaneously acquired airborne and satellite (Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 satellite) data.  The developed remote sensing products will include information of chlorophyll concentration, total suspended matter, inorganic and organic matter, water transparency, phytoplankton blooms and vegetation in water.

The absence of systematic, high frequency monitoring is not an issue only in Latvia, but this is a challenge worldwide. All the issues gathering high frequency and quality data collectively restrict our ability to measure, model and predict the effects of environmental change on freshwater ecosystems and their services. The result of the project will open the doors for new cross-border monitoring services, development of national and international strategic policies, as well as targeted management strategies to improve and preserve water quality. It will provide wide-scale and real-time information, thus helping to react to emergencies and tracking the impact of managerial decisions. Furthermore, it will improve the knowledge and skills of Estonian and Latvian scientists in acquiring, processing, combining, analysing and applying remote sensing and in-situ data for holistic lake research.

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

More about the project