BLASCOxEXPO Venice

 

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Poster BLASCO presentato ad EXPO Venice

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Blending LAboratory and Satellite techniques for detecting CyanObacteria Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi, CNR-ISE, Largo Tonolli 50, 28922 Verbania Pallanza Istituto per il Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell’Ambiente, CNRIREA, Via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano Introduction BLASCO is a research project funded by Fondazione CARIPLO under the theme “Research on water pollution towards a sound management of the water resource”. The scientific framework of the project is that of the worsening of the water quality, due to the eutrophication. In particular, BLASCO is focused on cyanobacterial blooms, which are among the harmful effects of water bodies eutrophication: these events are increasing in the waters around the world, also accelerated by climate change. Toxic organisms may often be responsible for such blooms. The costs attributable to algal blooms are significant and should have an impact on health care costs, on the costs associated with the treatment of water intended for human consumption, on the tourism industry. The implementation of early warning systems would reduce the costs and the efforts needed to face and control the harmful effects of an algal bloom. Aim of the project The specific aim of the project is to develop, from satellite images, a technique to specifically identify potentially toxic cyanobacteria in lakes, following their dynamics over large scale and with high temporal frequency, thus minimizing the use of lengthy and expensive traditional monitoring. To reach this goal it is necessary to analyse the spectral response characteristic of cyanobacteria and to develop algorithms for the study of cyanobacterial blooms in lakes. The algorithms obtained will be applied to the analysis of satellite images. . The innovative approach of the proposed project is to improve the identification of different species of cyanobacteria through remote sensing. New and more reliable calibration algorithms for the interpretation of satellite images will be obtained in lab experiments, using algal cultures. Project outline BLASCO started in April 2015 and will finish in April 2017. The experimental activities will be carried out in the laboratory as well as in the field. WP1 The experimental work in the laboratory will be based on the use of algal cultures, which will be set up and maintained. WP3 Development of algorithms to identify cyanobacteria from satellite images. The algorithms will be adapted to the satellite sensors used for the remote sensing of aquatic environments WP2 Cultures will be used to conduct experiments aimed at analyzing the optical properties of different species and strains of cyanobacteria WP5 Project management. WP6 Dissemination activities (web site, workshop, scientific publication, media). WP4 Test of the algorithms and their fitting to the satellite images. Collection of new field data. Study Area The project will be mainly focused on lakes Maggiore, Varese, Pusiano and Mantua, where algal blooms were recently recorded. However, other lakes could be included in the study, if algal blooms will be reported during the project development. Expected results 1) The algorithms obtained in laboratory conditions can be applied to the concentrations of cyanobacteria that are measured in the lake; 2) Creation of a dataset of spectral signatures of some taxa of cyanobacteria, commonly found in Italian lakes 3) It is possible to identify a threshold concentration of cyanobacteria for effective identification through remote sensing techniques, even without a bloom formation; 4) It is possible to distinguish, in natural conditions, the spectral signatures of cyanobacteria, also within mixed populations of phytoplankton, as occurs in the natural environment; 5) It is possible, during a bloom event, or even before, to detect the presence of toxic strains.

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