Advances in remote sensing of great lakes algal blooms

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Michigan Tech Research Institute


Many regions of the Great Lakes now see recurring cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs), with documented repercussions for ecosystem services, public health, and ecosystem integrity. Early detection and comprehensive monitoring of cyanoHABs are fundamental to their effective management and mitigation of detrimental impacts. Satellite remote sensing has provided the means by which algal blooms in the Great Lakes can be observed with unprecedented frequency and spatial coverage. Algorithms have been developed and validated; fully automated data processing streams have been rendered operational; and stakeholders have been engaged in order to develop user-friendly end products. Such products have been integral in providing near-real-time monitoring of bloom conditions, documenting spatiotemporal trends, improving understanding of environmental drivers of blooms, and guiding nutrient management actions. In this chapter we present background information on remote sensing of algal blooms, document the current state of knowledge with a focus on Lake Erie, and discuss remote sensing products available to the Great Lakes community.

Publisher's Statement

© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/698_2020_589

Publication Title

Handbook of Environmental Chemistry