US Long-Term Ecological Research Network
Use of Landsat data to predict the trophic state of Minnesota lakes
Year of Publication
Number of Pages
Near-concurrent Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) and ground data were obtained for 60 lakes distributed in two Landsat scene areas. The ground data included measurement of secchi disk depth, chlorophyll-a, total phosphorous, turbidity, color, and total nitrogen, as well as Carlson Trophic State Index (TSI) values derived from the first three parameters. The Landsat data best correlated with the TSI values. Prediction models were developed to classify some 100 ’test’ lakes appearing in the two analysis scenes on the basis of TSI estimates. Clouds, wind, poor image data, small lake size, and shallow lake depth caused some problems in lake TSI prediction. Overall, however, the Landsat-predicted TSI estimates were judged to be very reliable for the secchi-derived TSI estimation, moderately reliable for prediction of the chlorophyll-a TSI, and unreliable for the phosphorous value. Numerous Landsat data extraction procedures were compared, and the success of the Landsat TSI prediction models was a strong function of the procedure employed.