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Monitoring tropical billabong water turbidity using Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) derived imagery

Chen, Hua (2016). Monitoring tropical billabong water turbidity using Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) derived imagery. Bachelor of Science (Honours) Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Chen, Hua
Title Monitoring tropical billabong water turbidity using Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) derived imagery
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2016-10
Thesis Type Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Supervisor Edwards, Andrew C.
Bartolo, Renee E.
Whiteside, Timothy
Subjects ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Abstract Billabongs in tropical northern Australia are under increasing pressure from environmental stressors. There is a need for methods to monitor the water-quality dynamics of these often remote ecosystems. This study assessed the capacity of ultra-high resolution Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) imagery and remote sensing methods to quantify the water turbidity. I investigated water quality calibration algorithms under turbid inland water conditions and developed a reflectance-based approach to map billabong turbidity. Five bands of hyper spectral digital data were collected from sensors on board RPAS and the observations of turbidity values were obtained near-simultaneously using turbidity sensors on a radio controlled boat. The relationships between reflectance and water turbidity were assessed using single-band reflectance, band ratios, and water-related indices. Results show the Normalised Difference Water Index (NDWI) is a good indicator for water turbidity. Its linear model had a coefficient of determination of 0.7231. This study developed a new method to process multi-spectral RPAS imagery for turbidity monitoring in inland water bodies.


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