Satellite-Observed Algae Blooms in China's Lake Taihu



During the spring of 2007, a massive bluegreen algae (Microcystis) bloom broke out in Lake Taihu, one of the largest inland lakes in China. This freshwater lake is located in the Yangtze River delta (Figure 1), one of the world's most urbanized and heavily populated areas. The massive bloom event became an environmental crisis that prompted officials to cut tap water supply to several million residents in nearby Wuxi city in China's Jiangsu province. The outbreak, which the Chinese government identified as a major natural disaster, forced unprepared residents to rush to buy bottled water for their normal usage. This article presents results from an analysis of that event that demonstrate an application of satellite-derived imagery for inland lake water quality monitoring, assessment, and management.