Monitoring Thermal Discharge from power generating facilities in the Great Lakes

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



Michigan Tech Research Institute and LimnoTech conducted seasonal surveys of thermal discharge from select power generating facilities across the Great Lakes in 2016. A Flir Vue Pro camera was flown from manned and unmanned aerial platforms over active power plants' outflow channels to detect the extent and severity of changes in the lake surface temperature. Power plants surveyed include facilities in Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Aerial imagery was supplemented by in-situ point-sampled data from coincident cruises and cloud-free Landsat 8 satellite imagery for the purpose of comparing and validating the thermal remote sensing techniques. The goal of this research is to develop and compare methodologies for imaging plumes. The aerial surveys were able to capture relative heat profiles of the lake surface, which could then be radiometrically calibrated according to in-situ measurements, and compared with relevant satellite data. Progress was also made with resolving true surface temperature values from our non-radiometric thermal camera.

Publisher's Statement

Publisher's version of record: http://iaglr.org/conference/downloads/2017_abstracts.pdf

Publication Title

IAGLR's 60th annual Conference on Great Lakes Research