Date of Award


Degree Name

Physical and Applied Science


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

James O. Brumfield

Second Advisor

Ralph E. Oberly

Third Advisor

Nicola Orsini


Haifa Bay, Israel, is considered one of the most polluted environments in the nation. The bay water is enriched with nutrients and shows elevated levels of phytoplankton biomass. This requires continuous data collection to monitor productivity. The objectives of these remote sensing geobiophysical models were to (1) create a terrestrial model component to identify sources for the elevated levels of nutrients in the bay, and (2) marine model component to validate remote sensing algorithms for the detection of Chlorophyll in an oceanic setting. Methods included Spatial Analysis, Principal Component Analysis, Unsupervised Classification, Map Algebra, Band Ratios, and Statistical Regression of reflection values against chlorophyll In Situ concentration measurements. The examination of the relationship between in situ measured chlorophyll concentrations and reflectance values included several models: linear, polynomial, exponential, and power transformations Results of the terrestrial model component validated the assumption that diffuse introduction of nutrient is mainly attributed to urban, industrial, and agricultural regions and intensive anthropogenic activity around the bay. The aquatic model component tested ocean color algorithms using ETM+ and MERIS data, which achieved results. ETM+ algorithm (TM2-TM3)/TM1 resulted in high correlation coefficient (R2=0.8255) and was found suitable for the detection of low chlorophyll concentration <3mg/m3. MERIS reflectance ratio R510/R560 was found most accurate and achieved high correlation between measured and reflected values (R2=0.8428). The terrestrial and the marine components of the geobiophysical models provide an alternative, effective approach to the common monitoring techniques.


Marine phytoplankton - Haifa Bay (Israel)


Remote sensing