Chen, SS, Huang, WR, Wang, HQ, Li, D (2009). "Remote sensing assessment of sediment re-suspension during Hurricane Frances in Apalachicola Bay, USA". REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 113(12), 2670-2681.
Assessments of hurricane-induced environmental impacts are important to coastal management and risk analysis of ecosystems. In this study, a previously-developed remote sensing model for non-hurricane conditions by Wang et al. [Wang, H. Q. Hladik, C. M., Milla, K., Huang, W. R., Edmiston, L, Harwell, M. A., & Schalles, J. F. (in press). Detecting and mapping water quality indicators in Apalachicola Bay, Florida using MODIS Terra 250-m imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing] has been substantially enhanced to investigate the impact of Hurricane Frances on total suspended solid (TSS) concentrations in Apalachicola Bay, Florida, USA. The remote sensing model uses 250-m Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to map TSS concentrations in the Bay. Eleven additional satellite imageries of MODIS were used in the model improvement and calibration. TSS concentration computation in the present model has been substantially improved by using a two-step process: firstly producing atmospheric correction intercept by an approach of in-water reflectance regression, and then building the regression model (R-2 = 0.8534, n = 25) between 250-m MODIS reflectance and observed TSS concentrations, which includes an extreme high TSS concentration data of 208 mg/L for severe storm or hurricane condition. Also, we carried out the validation of model (RMSE = 5.5 mg/L, n = 21). MODIS-derived TSS maps show substantial increases of TSS concentrations in the Bay during the passage of Hurricane Frances (the average TSS and maximum concentration about 54.3 mg/L and 165 mg/L in the Bay respectively) compared to under no-storm or -hurricane condition ( the average TSS and maximum concentration were approximately 24-27 mg/L and 58-64 mg/L. In comparison to those before and 5-days after the passage of the hurricane, the average TSS concentration in the Bay was twice higher while the maximum TSS concentration increased almost three times during the hurricane. This indicates that strong winds during the hurricane have caused strong sediment re-suspension. The spatial variations of TSS concentrations were analyzed by applying the hydrodynamic characteristics of wind-induced flow and tidal currents as described by Huang [Huang, W., Jones, K., & Wu, T. (2002). Modeling surface wind effects on subtidal salinity in Apalachicola Bay. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 55(1), 33-46; Huang, W., Sun, H. Nnaji, S., & Jones, K (2002). Tidal hydrodynamics in a multiple inlet estuary: Apalachicola Bay. International Journal of Coastal Research, 18 (4), 674-684], which show westward currents in the Bay under westward wind condition. Therefore, the southwestward wind (about 50 degrees from the north) during the hurricane induced southwestward currents and transport that resulted in the high TSS concentrations near West Pass in the Bay and the Gulf. Within the Bay, TSS concentrations were generally higher in the southern portion of the Bay, which was due mainly to transport by the combination of southwestward wind and southward residual flow from the Apalachicola River. Published by Elsevier Inc.