Lakes are inestimable renewable natural resources that are under significant pressure by human activities. Monitoring lakes regularly is necessary to understand their dynamics and the drivers of these dynamics to support effective management. Remote sensing by satellite sensors offers a significant opportunity to increase the spatiotemporal coverage of environmental monitoring programs for inland waters. Lake color is a water quality attribute that can be remotely sensed and is independent of the sensor specifications and water type. In this study we used the Multispectral Imager (MSI) on two Sentinel-2 satellites to determine the color of water of 170 Italian lakes during two periods in 2017. Overall, most of the lakes appeared blue in spring and green-yellow in late summer, and in particular, we confirm a blue-water status of the largest lakes in the subalpine ecoregion. The color and its seasonality are consistent with characteristics determined by geomorphology and primary drivers of water quality. This suggests that information about the color of the lakes can contribute to synoptic assessments of the trophic status of lakes. Further ongoing research efforts are focused to extend the mapping over multiple years.
Part of the book: Geospatial Analyses of Earth Observation (EO) data