After attending a EUMETSAT Copernicus training course, Noemi Marsico used Sentinel-3 data to investigate links between river outflows and coastal water quality in the Bothnian Sea.
16 February 2023
09 February 2022
Noemi is a recently graduated Hydrologist and Hydrogeologist, with a keen interest in remote sensing applications. Her passion for the topic of Earth Observation, combined with a strong enthusiasm for the conservation and preservation of hydrological resources, has been driving her to utilise EUMETSAT products, with the aim of understanding the links between river discharge and coastal waters.
In May 2021, Noemi took part in the course Using the Copernicus Marine data stream for Ocean Applications.
"Subscribing to the summer course was the best decision I took in my academic career, " she said during one of EUMETSAT webinars.
"The skills and competencies I acquired have helped me enormously in the downloading and processing of my MSc thesis’ data. ”
The online summer course focused accessibility and downloading of marine data and products, the EUMETSAT data archive, and design of workflows using SNAP and Python.
“The most beneficial component of the course included the possibility to apply the knowledge acquired to self-defined projects, allowing the students to concentrate on the areas of interest,” said Noemi.
The course ended with a mini project where the participants were allowed to choose their own study area and parameter under investigation.
Neomi said: “Receiving direct help from the trainees on a specific topic has given me the chance to create my master’s thesis images with the full professional and moral support of the experts.”
Dr Lauren Biermann and Olly Clements, trainers on the course, helped Noemi create a time-series of Suspended particulate matter (SPM) and Chlorophyll a (Chl-a) images from OLCI data (Figure1).
The chosen study area included the Öre Estuary, on the coast of the Bothnian Sea (Baltic Sea), with the aim of understanding whether the Öre river influences the water quality of the Swedish coastal areas. The Baltic Sea is known to be affected by severe eutrophication (gradual increase in the concentration of phosphorus, nitrogen, and other plant nutrients) due to the increasing human activity and an excess loading of anthropogenically-derived nutrients. Monitoring and assessing the main contributors of freshwater inputs, becomes fundamental to the safeguarding of marine ecosystems and guaranteed continued access to marine resources.
In terms of surface water research, studies have been conducted through in-situ data collection, which is often considered expensive and time consuming. With new technologies, such as Ocean Colour (OC) remote sensing, numerous research studies have made a step forward, by analysing the topic from space, exploiting open data, and much more extensive spatial and temporal coverage.
The Baltic Sea has been identified as an optically complex area, with 'Case-2' waters (Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) absorption at 440 nm ranging between 0.2 and 13 m-1 , and SPM from about 0.2 to 32 gm-3). In this context, understanding the most suitable sensor and products to use to observe the area, is of fundamental importance for the development of new studies. OLCI level-2 data at 300 m resolution, has been identified as an optimal tool to evaluate water quality in the Baltic Sea, similar to the MERIS sensor. However, more data validation is needed in order to guarantee a deeper and more precise understanding of the relationships between optical signal and the in-water components of the Baltic Sea.