Applicability of Landsat 8 thermal infrared sensor for identifying submarine groundwater discharge springs in the Mediterranean Sea basin.

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Date: Sept. 2, 2021
From: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences(Vol. 25, Issue 9)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 274 words

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Abstract :

Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) has received increasing attention over the past 2 decades as a source of nutrients, trace elements and ocean pollutants that may alter coastal biogeochemical cycles. Assessing SGD flows and their impact on coastal marine environments is a difficult task, since it is not easy to identify and measure these water flows discharging into the sea. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the significant usefulness of the freely available thermal infrared (TIR) imagery of the Landsat 8 thermal infrared sensor (TIRS) as an exploratory tool for identifying SGD springs worldwide, from local to regional scales, for long-term analysis. The use of satellite thermal data as a technique for identifying SGD springs in seawater is based on the identification of thermally anomalous plumes obtained from the thermal contrasts between groundwater and sea surface water. In this study, we use the TIR remote sensing (TIR-RS) imagery provided by Landsat 8 at a regional scale and discuss the principle limiting factors of using this technique in SGD studies. The study was developed in karstic coastal aquifers in the Mediterranean Sea basin during different seasons and under diverse meteorological conditions. Although this study demonstrates that freely available satellite TIR remote sensing is a useful method for identifying coastal springs in karst aquifers both locally and regionally, the limiting factors include technical limitations, geological and hydrogeological characteristics, environmental and marine conditions and coastal geomorphology.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A674089858