The monitoring of important components of ecosystems is critical for implementing effective environmental management. However, due to the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of water bodied coupled conventional sampling methods often result in inadequate monitoring and characterization of water quality.
Meanwhile, the application of remote sensing to assess inland water production has escalated recently because its capability of scanning wide water bodies within a short time period. Consequently, a combined approach utilizing the spatial and temporal coverage of remote sensing with conventional water sampling provides potentially effective solution to monitoring fresh water ecosystem. In relation to water quality, sediments transport and erosion is a complex natural process that is strongly affected by human activities such as deforestation, agriculture and urbanization. In particular, sediment play a key role in controlling water quality and it can cause a major reduction on stream capacity for handling flood waves. Sediment is the most common constituent both in weight and volume in surface waters of fresh water systems. Thus, especially for turbid rivers, the effect of the other optical active substances on the satellite data is negligible.Sediment has been recognized as the important contaminant affecting the Mekong water. Besides its direct role in determining water clarity, bridge scouring, and reservoir storage, sediment serves as a vehicle for the transport of many binding contaminates, including nutrients, trace metals, semi-volatile organic compounds, and numerous pesticides. Over the past three decades, remotely sensed images have been widely used in the assessment of suspended sediment. Relative to large water bodies, such as lakes and reservoirs, water in rivers are more immediately sensitive to and more directly influenced by the characteristic of the river bank, human activities, and other external forces. Therefore, the successful application of remote sensing technology to suspended sediment load monitoring of rivers could be a very useful tool for management and development at basin scales. The present study aims to investigate the applicability of satellite images for monitoring suspended sediment load (SSL) in the Mekong River over temporal and spatial dimensions. Based on the generated observations, the empirical equation to estimate SSL was then applied to construct suspended sediment load profiles over the Mekong length and its temporal changes.
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Last date updated on June, 2014