Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-7-2019

Department

Department of Biological Sciences

Abstract

Where light penetration is excellent, the combination of LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) and passive bottom reflectance (multispectral, hyperspectral) greatly aids environmental studies. Over a century ago, two stamp mills (Mohawk and Wolverine) released 22.7 million metric tons of copper-rich tailings into Grand Traverse Bay (Lake Superior). The tailings are crushed basalt, with low albedo and spectral signatures different from natural bedrock (Jacobsville Sandstone) and bedrock-derived quartz sands. Multiple Lidar (CHARTS and CZMIL) over-flights between 2008–2016—complemented by ground-truth (Ponar sediment sampling, ROV photography) and passive bottom reflectance studies (3-band NAIP; 13-band Sentinal-2 orbital satellite; 48 and 288-band CASI)—clarified shoreline and underwater details of tailings migrations. Underwater, the tailings are moving onto Buffalo Reef, a major breeding site important for commercial and recreational lake trout and lake whitefish production (32% of the commercial catch in Keweenaw Bay, 22% in southern Lake Superior). If nothing is done, LiDAR-assisted hydrodynamic modeling predicts 60% tailings cover of Buffalo Reef within 10 years. Bottom reflectance studies confirmed stamp sand encroachment into cobble beds in shallow (0-5m) water but had difficulties in deeper waters (>8 m). Two substrate end-members (sand particles) showed extensive mixing but were handled by CASI hyperspectral imaging. Bottom reflectance studies suggested 25-35% tailings cover of Buffalo Reef, comparable to estimates from independent counts of mixed sand particles (ca. 35% cover of Buffalo Reef by >20% stamp sand mixtures).

Publisher's Statement

© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11091076

Publication Title

Remote Sensing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Version

Publisher's PDF

Included in

Biology Commons

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