Sediment Analysis Network for Decision Support

Project Description
Source: Abstract submitted for the 2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting, http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2010AM/finalprogram/abstract_176502.htm

EBERSOLE, Sandy1, DARBY, Steve1, THORN, Joel2, and BROWN, Brian3, (1) Geological Survey of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35486, sebersole@gsa.alabama.gov, (2) Geography, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35486, (3) Geological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscsaloosa, AL 35486

The NASA-funded Sediment Analysis Network for Decision Support (SANDS) project focuses on enhancing suspended sediment in satellite imagery related to tropical cyclones in the Gulf of Mexico. Anlayzed data include color and infrared reflected bands from Landsat, MODIS, and SeaWiFS scenes related to tropical storms and hurricanes impacting the north-central Gulf from 2000 to 2009. Scenes include both pre- and post-storm data for each cyclone. Methodology for enhancing suspended sediment includes cluster busting, band ratio analysis, and ISODATA. Enhanced data shows suspended sediment carried out much farther into the Gulf than can be seen in normal true-color images. Increased area of sediment plumes from pre- to post- storm data is also visualized in the enhanced imagery and helps with comparison of pre- and post-storm runoff, sediment suspension, and transport patterns. ISODATA and band ratio analysis also returns spectral separation of suspended sediment plumes from Mobile Bay and the Mississippi River, a variation likely due to mineral composition differences.