Sunday, February 19, 2017
Exhibit Hall (Hynes Convention Center)
Maruthi Sridhar Balaji Bhaskar, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX
Water quality in Galveston Bay is very important for the economical, ecological and environmental well being of the Texas Gulf Coast as it is a tremendous recreational and environmental asset to the United States. The goal of the proposed project is to identify the impact of long-term landscape and environmental changes on the water quality of Galveston Bay. The specific objectives are: 1) To analyze and map the spatial and temporal trends in the water quality characteristics of the Galveston Bay and 2) To identify the best water quality indicators for satellite monitoring of the environmental and ecological changes. The historical water sampling data was extracted from the water quality database maintained by the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC). The data pertaining to the water quality nutrient indicators of Chlorophyll a, Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus was extracted and analyzed. Long-term, continuous remote sensing monitoring data is also utilized to quantify and assess the pigment and nutrient distribution in the waters of Galveston Bay. Our spatial and temporal results showed that the chlorophyll, phosphorous and nitrogen concentrations in the surface water samples of Galveston Bay remained below the critical limit from 1984 to 2000 and then showed an increasing trend from 2000 to 2012. Geospatial models are being developed to quantify and map the chlorophyll and nutrient concentrations. The ability to quantify and map the water quality concentrations over large areas is very critical for the sustainable environmental management.