Water quality monitoring

Satellite products development for water quality monitoring in the Great lakes and Himmerfjärden

General background

Existing water control programs at different organisations and companies have provided invaluable information about the water quality of Swedish lakes and the coastal zone. However, this information is based on laboratory analysis of water samples from a limited, both in time and space, number of sampling stations.
The information and knowledge retrieved can be considerably strengthened and increased by including remote sensing data in the monitoring programs. This step is decisive in order to develop a better management of Swedish lakes and to create a sustainable aquatic environment.

Several years of research have been devoted to development of remote sensing methods for estimation of water quality in Swedish lakes. Bio-optical modelling of remote sensing data, as well as necessary image pre-processing (radiometric calibration, atmospheric correction) to retrieve lake water quality (concentrations of chlorophyll, suspended matter, dissolved organic substances, temperature) have shown to be a delicate task, but good results have been accomplished. During 2006-2007 the research on water quality modelling and atmospheric correction accomplished so far, has been transferred into a monitoring system for operational use.

The goal during 2008 and 2009 is to start running the system in a more permanent way, side-by-side with additional image/product and system developments, and to make new developments to include a coastal area, “Himmerfjärden”, in the project.


Vattenfall Power Consultant AB performs the project developments, in cooperation with Strömbeck Consulting, University of Stockholm, Vättern- Vänern- and Mälaren Society for Water Conservation, The Water Authorities, Stockholm Vatten, Norrvatten, SYVAB and The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). The project is financed by SNSB, SEPA and SYVAB.

The main areas of interest are Lake Vänern, Vättern och Mälaren and the coastal area around Himmerfjärden. Satellite data from MODIS and MERIS (low spatial resolution) sensors are the main source of image information as they are developed for water targets. In addition, high-medium resolution satellite data will be included for detailed studies.

The images will be processed using algorithms based on semi-analytical modelling, to produce concentration maps pf chlorophyll, suspended matter, dissolved organic substances, temperature. Data will then be refined and delivered to the end users using the project web page www.vattenkvalitet.nu

Goals 2008-2009

The goal of this project is to develop an operational water quality monitoring platform and user oriented results for local, and in the future national, monitoring of Swedish lakes and coastal zone. The work during 2008 and 2009 will be focused on the following:

• To develop and evaluate satellite based routines to derive water quality information over Himmerfjärden
• Modification of base system and products for Mälaren, Vänern and Vättern

• To produce water quality information over Mälaren, Vänern and Vättern during May-September 2008 and/or 2009

• Further development of the web interface for delivery of data and presentation of the project


Vattenfall Power Consultant AB: Petra Philipson, 08-739 59 33, petra.philipson@vattenfall.com

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency: Håkan Marklund, 08-698 14 06, Hakan.Marklund@naturvardsverket.se

SYVAB: Jan Bosander, 08-41077600, Jan.Bosander@syvab.se


Senast uppdaterad: 20 maj 2009