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Turbidity and Suspended Matter in Albufera of Valencia (Spain) using Sentinel-2 Images
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1  Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Universidad de Valencia
Academic Editor: Riccardo Buccolieri


The presence of turbidity and suspended solids in freshwater environments is a natural phenomenon. However, due to human activities, the levels of suspended solids have escalated in numerous habitats. The implications of suspended matter vary depending on its composition, particularly with organic matter's ability to deplete dissolved oxygen within the water column. Excessive sedimentation can have adverse effects on primary productivity and aquatic life by diminishing light penetration and restricting habitat availability. The monitoring of water quality holds immense significance, encompassing vital aspects such as human consumption, agriculture, industry, and overall ecosystem health. Remote sensing techniques, with the utilization of the Sentinel-2 mission, have emerged as valuable tools for monitoring and assessing these critical variables. In the scope of this study, specific algorithms were meticulously calibrated and validated to accurately estimate turbidity and suspended solids in the Albufera de Valencia, leveraging the rich dataset provided by Sentinel-2 satellite imagery. The performance of these algorithms exhibited variability, with the R705 model emerging as the most reliable for estimating both turbidity and suspended solids. However, the validity of its turbidity estimates faced scrutiny. Alternative models, including R705 × R705/R490 and R783 × R705/R490, exhibited less satisfactory outcomes for turbidity estimation but showcased enhanced performance in estimating suspended solids. Further research endeavors are warranted to enhance the precision and robustness of these algorithms, while considering the unique characteristics inherent to the study area. Collaboration between disciplines such as limnology, optics and water chemistry is crucial to advance in water quality estimation models in lakes and lagoons such as Albufera. By integrating expertise and approaches from these diverse fields, new knowledge can be gained and the basis for more effective management and conservation strategies can be laid.

Keywords: water quality; remote sensing; suspended solids; freshwater ecosystems; environmental monitoring
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