An investigation of the effects of temperature and suspended sediment on the Landsat MSS reflectance of John H. Kerr Reservoir

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The report herein consisted of two objectives, the first of which was a data collection effort in John H. Kerr Reservoir. Ten field monitoring trips were performed between March 30, 1981 and March 3, 1982. The temperature, velocity, and depth data from those trips are contained in Appendix A. Plots of temperature versus depth at the stations chosen in the reservoir are contained in Appendix B.

The second objective was an application of the database to Landsat MSS data available during the same period of record. The effects of temperature and total suspended solids on Landsat MSS reflectance were investigated.

The effect of increasing temperature was a notable decrease in reflectance especially in Bands 4 and 5. This temperature effect may have been influenced by other water quality parameters that were not measured. The effect of increasing total suspended solids was a pronounced reflectance increase in Band 5.