Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Eutrophication is a major inland water problem that is researched by many environmentalists and hydrologists. A eutrophic inland water body can cause many negative water problems, such as taste and odor, biotoxin, and low dissolved oxygen. Many previous studies were effective based on using remote sensing to evaluate water body trophic state. In this study, the Cheney Reservoir is selected as an object to test the performance of using remote sensing, specifically the Landsat Thematic Mapper sensor, to evaluate the trophic state of a reservoir. Based on Landsat TM imagery, the chlorophyll a concentration is estimated to be used to indicate the trophic state of the Cheney Reservoir in August, 2011. It is found that the processed Landsat TM images were successfully used to run the regression analysis to assess the whole lake chlorophyll-a concentration, thereby the spatial distribution of trophic state of the Cheney Reservoir in Aug, 2011 was done. During this study, the field measurement and laboratory analysis data were acquired in collaboration with the US Geological Survey in Lawrence, KS. From the results of this study, mean chlorophyll-a concentration is about 10 ug/L, and high-mesotrophic is the dominating trophic state. Both results are comparable with previous studies from Smith in 2001 and 2002. The conclusion of this study is that use remote sensing methods with data of Landsat TM can successfully evaluate the trophic state Cheney Reservoir in August, 2011. The study is limited by the time difference between field measurement and Landsat TM imagery data, and lack of the same testing on different reservoirs. The major error is from a 14-days difference between the time of image acquisition (August 1, 2011) and the time when the chlorophyll-a measurements were taken (August 15, 2000). In the future work, more attention will put on overcome the mentioned limitation, and reduce error.


Dr. John Heinrichs

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type



© 2012 Dingnan Lu


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Geology Commons