California Coast Ecological Forecasting: Modeling A Harmful Algal Bloom On The Central California Coast Using GIS And Remote Sensing | 2484
Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change
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In recent years, harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been linked to human illness, massive die-offs of fish and shellfish populations,
economic losses from decreased ocean-fishing, and ecological damage related to eutrophication and persistent disease of fish
species. The most recent HAB event (August-September 2011) off the California coast caused severe economic and ecological
impacts to local fisheries and ecosystems, but the exact special extent of the bloom is still unclear. This project focused on the August/
September 2011 HAB event using multiple NASA Earth observing resources in an effort to understand the magnitude and scope
of this particular bloom. The knowledge gained from this study enables affected state agencies to accurately assess their impacts
and predict future HAB events. Remotely-sensed MODIS images were used to measure ocean chlorophyll-α content and map the
coverage and path of the HAB. Data from AVHRR and Jason-2 satellites allowed examination of the roles of salinity and sea surface
height in HAB formation, and the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) modeled atmospheric and oceanic factors which
could affect bloom movement. A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) later identified the environmental variables most statistically
influential in HAB growth. The results from this study will assist the California Department of Public Health and Department of Fish
and Game in mitigating and managing the impact of harmful algal blooms.
Maanya Condamoor is a 4th year at the University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in Environmental Science with minors in Environmental
Engineering and Conservation Biology. In the summer of 2012, she participated in the DEVELOP Program at NASA Ames Research Center in
Moffett Field, California, and worked on the California Coast Ecological Forecasting project, which used remote sensing and GIS to study red tides
off the coast of central California. At UCLA, Maanya is involved in a variety of student organizations, including the Environmental Science Student
Network, Engineers Without Borders, and the Education for Sustainable Living Program.
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