Wind-induced resuspension in a shallow lake from Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) full-resolution reflectances



[1] A lack of empirical evidence impedes assessment of the spatial and temporal extent of critical conditions for recurring high turbidity in large wind-exposed shallow lakes. Here spatiotemporal variation in total suspended matter (TSM) concentration was captured by processing 30 Envisat Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) images of a shallow lake (Markermeer) with a spectral matching algorithm. The TSM maps showed elevated downwind concentrations for moderate winds (from 4 to 9 m s−1), which occur 68% of the time. Regressions confirmed the relationship between hourly averaged wind speed and TSM. To explore critical conditions for resuspension, wind speed, linear fetch, and water depth were combined in a spatial model based on simplified linear wave equations. Remotely sensed TSM patterns matched predicted areas of resuspension from these wave equations. On average, over 70% of cells were true positive or negative, with elevated TSM matching the predicted resuspending bottom area and background TSM matching no resuspension. Images acquired during moderate winds register local resuspension. This implies that under these conditions, a critical shear stress threshold for resuspension is passed, followed by upward mixing over the few meters of water column. Images acquired during low wind speeds (≤3 m s−1) either do not show a TSM pattern or display settling because it takes several hours of low wind before all particles are removed from the visible top layer. Because of the good spatial matching, the resuspension model can also be used for future verification of the retrieval capacity of the spectral matching algorithm.