Kristi Uudeberg defended PhD thesis about an optical water type approach to estimate water quality
On Tuesday, June 2 Kristi Uudeberg successfully defended her doctoral thesis in physics "Optical water type guided approach to estimate water quality in inland and coastal waters".
Uudeberg's supervisors were Dr. Anu Noorma (Tartu Observatory, University of Tartu) and Dr. Kaire Toming (Estonian Marine Institute, University of Tartu). Her opponents were Associate Professor Susanne Kratzer (Stockholm University, Sweden) and Professor Kalev Sepp (Estonian University of Life Sciences).
Humans have long enjoyed living where land and water meet. At the same time, the impact of human activities close to lakes, rivers, and coastal areas has increased, which has caused the deterioration of water bodies. Therefore, the state of a water body requires constant monitoring to assess the magnitude of the impact of human activity and to respond when needed. Traditional water monitoring programs are mainly based on in situ measurements; however, considering that water bodies are dynamic in nature, this method may not reflect the status of the whole water body. Therefore, in addition to traditional monitoring, it is important to implement methods that allow more operative monitoring of the aquatic environment.
Remote sensing offers effective ways to observe spatial and temporal variations in water quality. The free availability of data with high spatial, temporal and spectral resolution from the Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 family satellites launched under the European Union and the European Space Agency Copernicus programme has created a real opportunity for satellite data being used operationally for additional water quality monitoring for inland and coastal waters. Such waters are optically complex, as they are independently influenced by different optically significant constituents. Therefore, standard remote sensing algorithms to estimate water quality often fail in these waters.
As a result of the thesis, an optical water type guided approach to estimate water quality in inland and coastal waters using remote sensing data was presented. The method considers the optical properties of water but does not limit itself to a particular water body. So, results are applicable to all the water bodies with similar optical properties of water.