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Artificial neural networks and remote sensing in the analysis of the highly variable Pampean shallow lakes

Graciela Canziani Rosana Ferrati Claudia Marinelli Federico Dukatz

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MBE2008,4,691doi:10.3934/mbe.2008.5.691

Suspended organic and inorganic particles, resulting from the interactions among biological, physical, and chemical variables, modify the optical properties of water bodies and condition the trophic chain. The analysis of their optic properties through the spectral signatures obtained from satellite images allows us to infer the trophic state of the shallow lakes and generate a real time tool for studying the dynamics of shallow lakes. Field data (chlorophyll-a, total solids, and Secchi disk depth) allow us to define levels of turbidity and to characterize the shallow lakes under study. Using bands 2 and 4 of LandSat 5 TM and LandSat 7 ETM+ images and constructing adequate artificial neural network models (ANN), a classification of shallow lakes according to their turbidity is obtained. ANN models are also used to determine chlorophyll-a and total suspended solids concentrations from satellite image data. The results are statistically significant. The integration of field and remote sensors data makes it possible to retrieve information on shallow lake systems at broad spatial and temporal scales. This is necessary to understanding the mechanisms that affect the trophic structure of these ecosystems.

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