Manager   •   over 7 years ago

Environmental Protection Agency - Forecasting Toxic Algae Blooms

Partner
Environmental Protection Agency

Challenge Questions
What can we learn from MERIS satellite imagery and EPA’s EnviroAtlas about harmful toxic algae blooms? Compare cyanobacteria algal bloom cell counts against different ecosystem services information. Focus on a GIS spatial/temporal exercise.

For the ambitious, refine a satellite based predictive cyanobacteria model to forecast the status of cyanobacteria bloom events.

Datasets and details:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mBIF9BeFJlWXWM_1JFxQPJBIFCRAorOtkd4JE_3JKSM/edit
EnviroAtlas: http://enviroatlas.epa.gov/enviroatlas/atlas.html

Impact
Algal blooms cause extensive problems in lakes worldwide, including human and animal health risks, anoxia and fish kills, and taste and odor in potable water. Cyanobacterial blooms are a particular concern because of their dense biomass, toxins, and taste-and-odor. Satellite instruments can be used to detect and quantify cyanobacteria blooms in lakes and estuaries. The current challenge is to refine a predictive model based on the best available science to forecast the location of cyanobacteria cell counts up to 7-days in advance of the previous available satellite observation. The model would be based on the best and most appropriate scientific information available to predict the growth and movement of cyanobacteria blooms. It’s anticipated that the model would incorporate ancillary data sets in near-real time to provide a robust predictive capability (e.g., temperature data, meteorological predictions, etc.).

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