- Volume 10 Issue 1
Detection of red tides by satellite remote sensing can be done either by detecting enhanced level of chlorophyll pigment or by detecting changes in the spectral composition of pixels. Using chlorophyll concentration, however, is not effective currently due to the facts: 1) Chlorophyll-a is a universal pigment of phytoplankton, and 2) no accurate algorithm for chlorophyll in case 2 water is available yet. Here, red band algorithm, classification and PCA (Principal Component Analysis) techniques were applied for detecting patches of Cochlodinium polykrikoides red tides which occurred in Korean waters in 1995. This dinoflagellate species appears dark red due to the characteristic pigments absorbing lights in the blue and green wavelength most effectively. In the satellite image, the brightness of red tide pixels in all the three visible bands were low making the detection difficult. Red band algorithm is not good for detecting the red tide because of reflectance of suspended sediments. For supervised classification, selecting training area was difficult, while unsupervised classification was not effective in delineating the patches from surrounding pixels. On the other hand, PCA gave a good qualitative discrimination on the distribution compared with actual observation.