Harmful Algal Blooms Analysis Tool

California Water Boards, San Francisco Estuary Institute, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Posted on: 5/21/2019 - Updated on: 5/21/2019

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The satellite imagery analysis tool provides a screening level analysis to prompt field verification and sampling to confirm the status of a suspected cyanobacteria harmful algal bloom and presence of toxic species. This map displays estimated levels of cyanobacteria in large water bodies, calculated from satellite imagery in order to better understand potential risks to public health. Data is displayed in map form to show the spatial extent of blooms and is also viewable in long and short timelines to show how concentrations vary over time. Additionally, field data can be displayed providing users a combination of data and tools to better understand the status and trends of cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms and the potential risks to public health.

The tool features a mix of data from discrete samples, which are very precise for a specific location, and satellite imagery data, which can provide a broad-scale understanding of cyanobacteria density but should be regarded as provisional in nature. The tool offers water resource managers and the public an opportunity to review and compare satellite data with sampling data (where available) in an exploratory interface. As the satellite imagery improves over time, the data quality will likely also increase, as will its value for decision-making.


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