Remote Sensing Products to Support GLNPO Great Lakes Monitoring

NOAA will derive remote sensing products in support of the three categories in support of GLNPO: 1) products with established methods, 2) pilot research for remotely sensed zooplankton biomass, and 3) longer term goals for future products with methods that are not yet available but are currently in development.  A fourth category of technical assistance and guidance to outfit the R/V Lake Guardian with instrumentation upgrades for improved remote sensing-derived products and enhanced water quality monitoring assessments. 

NOAA GLERL will provide monthly average lake-wide values for each of the lakes and extract remote-sensing data from long-term monitoring sites for comparison with in situ data for surface water temperatures, color producing agent products (CPA, chlorophyll-a biomass and vertical structure (HAB scums) HAB distribution, dissolved organic carbon, color dissolved organic matter absorption, suspended minerals, water clarity (kdPAR and water-clarity index)). This includes deploying an autonomous surface vehicle for satellite remote sensing validation and in situ primary productivity observations.

In addition, a pilot research project as a “proof of concept” support estimates of zooplankton biomass to augment the spring and summer survey estimates in the Great Lakes. The potential benefits of using remote sensing for these estimates include more frequent and spatially extensive zooplankton biomass estimates beyond what can be obtained through existing ship-based monitoring efforts as well as more rapid estimates of biomass conditions.


  • Monthly satellite products and time series over monitoring stations
  • Pilot Remote Sensing Zooplankton Biomass Estimates – Satellite and Airborne Observations
  • Ship-based observations for to support new remote sensing products (i.e. phytoplankton community composition)
  • Support for Lake Superior CSMI

FY2024: $550,000

FY2023: $580,000

FY2022: $331,000

FY2021: $580,000