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Remote sensing reveals biological and ecological processes of the Great Lakes

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Monday, October 14, 2013

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Foad Yousef
Michigan Technological University

I took advantage of remote sensing and GIS techniques to discover, verify, and quantify biological, physical and ecological processes of coastal, nearshore, and offshore waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. These processes spanned from chlorophyll a and primary production time series analysis in Lake Michigan to coastal stamp sand threats on Buffalo Reef; an important lake trout and whitefish spawning ground in Lake Superior.

SeaWiFS satellite imagery was used to trace various water related properties of Lake Michigan during the past decade and to investigate the collapse of the spring primary production. Using spatial analysis techniques, we were able to connect these changes to some important lake processes. In a separate study, using LiDAR technology and aerial photos, we examine natural coastal erosion in Grand Traverse Bay, Michigan, and discuss a variety of geological features that influence general sediment accumulation patterns and interactions with migrating tailings from legacy mining. These sediments are moving southwesterly towards Buffalo Reef, creating a threat to the lake trout and lake whitefish breeding ground.

Host: Charlie Kerfoot

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