Remote sensing of colored dissolved organic matter using unmanned aerial systems and assessment of the influence of dissolved organic matter on the oyster reefs in the western Mississippi sound
Galapita Pallayapelage, Sudeera Wickramarathna
Item TypeGraduate Thesis
CommitteeMercer, Andrew E.
Paul, Varun G.
Clary, Renee M.
Oyster reefs in the western Mississippi Sound (WMS) are dependent on the salinity moderation by freshwater input. However, freshwater brings in high amount of pollutants, which affect the oysters negatively. Oyster diebacks happened as a result of hypoxia caused by excessive organic matter input to WMS in summer 2017. Colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) is widely used as a proxy for determining organic matter distribution. In this study, hyperspectral and multispectral remote sensing data collected using unmanned aerial systems and in situ CDOM data were used to develop algorithms in order to retrieve CDOM remotely. Collected physical and biogeochemical parameters were used to understand the carbon fluxes regulating the quality and quantity of CDOM. Developed algorithms showed high accuracy after accounting for seasonal variations of CDOM. Further, seasonal induced photodegradation, photosynthesis, calcification, and exchange of CO2 were identified as possible factors that affect the carbon dynamics in the study area.