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CoastWatch Great Lakes and NOAA Ocean Communications Network

Primary Investigator:

George Leshkevich - NOAA GLERL

CoastWatch Logo Objectives: CoastWatch is a nationwide National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) program within which the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) functions as the Great Lakes Regional Node In this capacity, GLERL obtains, produces, and delivers environmental data and products for near real-time observation of the Great Lakes to support environmental science, decision making, and supporting research. This is achieved by providing access to near real-time and retrospective satellite observations and in-situ Great Lakes data. Clients include Federal, state, and local agencies, academic institutions, and the public. The goals and objectives of the CoastWatch Great Lakes Program directly support NOAA’s statutory responsibilities in estuarine and marine science, living marine resource protection, and ecosystem monitoring and management contained in several federal environmental statutes including the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA).

The CoastWatch program originated within the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program (NCOP) and is designed to focus on specific regional and national priorities in the coastal environment. Among the general objectives of CoastWatch is to provide access to near real-time and retrospective satellite and aircraft observations and other products for the coastal ocean of the US for federal, state, and local decision making. The CoastWatch node at GLERL provides Federal, state, and local agencies, academic institutions, and the public, both within and outside of the Great Lakes region, with access to near real-time satellite observations and in-situ data for the Great Lakes. Moreover, products of interest to regional users derived from satellite imagery (such as ice type, chlorophyll, DOC, and SM concentrations, HAB identification and tracking, high resolution winds, etc.), have been and are being developed. CoastWatch data are used in a variety of ways, including near real-time observation and tracking of algal blooms, plumes, ice cover, water intake temperatures at fish hatcheries, two and three dimensional modeling of Great Lakes physical parameters such as wave height and currents, damage assessment modeling, research, and educational and recreational activities. In addition, through a cooperative project with Michigan Sea Grant, Great Lakes CoastWatch satellite-derived surface temperature imagery is contoured and made available via Michigan State Sea Grant’s web site. Great Lakes CoastWatch data and products benefit riparians as well as commercial and recreational users.

 
Sample environmental data and products produced by CoastWatch
Sea Surface Temperature SST, Synoptic (L) .png 1024 x 1024 Sea Surface Temperature SST, GeoTiff with cloud and land mask CoastWatch Great Lakes Java GIS, Bathymetry (contour lines) on SST Image
Sea Surface Temperature SST, Synoptic (L) .png (1024 x 1024)
+ Synoptic Scene AVHRR Imagery
Sea Surface Temperature SST,
GeoTiff with cloud and land mask
Bathymetry (contour lines) on Sea Surface Temperature SST Image
+ CoastWatch Java GIS
Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis (GLSEA) Water Temperature
Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis With Ice Cover Great Lake Average GLSEA Surface Water Temperature
Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis (GLSEA) Water Temperature
+ latest image
Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis With Ice Cover
+ GLSEA movies
Great Lake Average GLSEA Surface Water Temperature
+ Statistics, e.g. average Lake Superior Surface Water Temperature

2006 Plans

  • Continue to obtain and make available via the Great Lakes CoastWatch web site, near real-time, high resolution (250 m), true color MODIS AQUQ and TERRA imagery
  • Put Yellow Perch sampling grid online as JAVA GIS shape file overlay on western Lake Erie true color image (if GLFC proposal is accepted)
  • Convert the daily GLSEA composite SST chart to 1024 x 1024 format (with NIC ice concentration overlay during winter).
  • Further test and implement a new map server for CoastWatch (and other) data.
  • Produce and make available online color-coded, classified ice type images derived from RADARSAT SAR data (depending on RADARSAT data availability).

Current Operations

We are operationally receiving AVHRR images in the new CoastWatch file format, for all Great Lakes CoastWatch image files. The new CoastWatch file format is HDF with an image size of 1024 x 1024. However, we are also producing Great Lakes CoastWatch imagery and products in PNG and GeoTIFF formats. The synoptic scene is 1024 x 1024 full resolution (1.3km) and for continuity, we are creating the regional scenes (subset from the synoptic scene) in 512 x 512. The GeoTiff images are cloud masked and land masked. Derived products produced at GLERL (except the GLSEA composite chart which will be modified) have been converted to the new file formats. We continue to receive near real-time MODIS true color 250 m resolution images in GeoTiff format by lake from the SSEC at the University of Wisconsin. The imagery is available on the Great Lakes CoastWatch web site in GeoTiff and .jpg formats. Moreover, a stand alone CoastWatch web server was improved and put into operation near the beginning of the fiscal year. Web software was rewritten to display and download the new image files from the web site. In addition, the ArcIMS and Map Server software and libraries were installed and compared based on a number of criteria. Based on the comparison, Map Server appears best to replace JAVA GIS as the new CoastWatch web map server.

Past Accomplishments

GLERL has received and archived over 451,298 image products (AVHRR and GOES) since becoming the CoastWatch Great Lakes Node in 1990, and increased regional CoastWatch data users to over 1500. GLERL has assisted in validating new satellite SST algorithms used for the Great Lakes, contributed data, information, and design suggestions for the prototype CoastWatch Great Lakes Users Guide, and developed software to print and help analyze CoastWatch products on personal computers. A new product, the Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis (GLSEA), was developed at GLERL and is now available to CoastWatch data users via the World Wide Web. The GLSEA is a daily cloud-free, composited surface temperature chart that has an ice cover analysis overlay during winter months. As part of the CoastWatch SAR Implementation Team, GLERL, along with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NESDIS, the National Ice Center (NIC), and the National Weather Service (NWS), is investigating, developing, and demonstrating the use of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and scatterometer imagery for future products. In addition, sessions at professional meetings have been chaired and journals articles written to describe and document the CoastWatch Great Lakes Program and supporting research and product development. Technology transfer to secondary schools has been supported.

2003 A new CoastWatch file naming convention adopted last year conforms to the national CoastWatch standard and paves the way for the new CoastWatch file format. On June 20, 2003 we started receiving test images in the new CoastWatch file format, for all CoastWatch Great Lakes image files. The new CoastWatch file format is HDF with an image size of 1024 x 1024. However, after user input and planning, it was decided to produce CoastWatch Great Lakes imagery and products in PNG and GeoTIFF formats as well. The synoptic scene is 1024 x 1024 full resolution (~1.3km) and the regional scenes (subset from the synoptic scene) are 512 x 512. The GeoTiff Images will be cloud masked and land masked. Software has been written to read the HDF files and convert to these formats. Derived products produced at GLERL (the GLSEA composite chart which is currently being revised) have been converted to the new file formats. In addition, arrangements with the SSEC at the University of Wisconsin have been made to receive near real-time MODIS true color 250 m resolution images in GeoTiff format in the CoastWatch synoptic and regional windows. The imagery will be made available on the CoastWatch Great Lakes web site.

Moreover, a new stand alone web server is currently being configured and is planned for operation in October 2003. Web software has been rewritten to display and download the new image files from the web site. Implementation on the web is planned to coincide with the introduction of the new server in October. In addition to the CoastWatch image viewing and analysis software tool (CDAT 0.6a-4) for Windows, a new image utilities toolbox to read, convert, write, and manipulate both the new HDF and old CWF image formats has been made available for download via the CoastWatch Great Lakes web site. (See article: Environmental Monitoring of the Great Lakes Using CoastWatch Data and JAVA GIS).

2002 On November 6, 2001 the new CoastWatch file naming convention for all CoastWatch Great Lakes image and product files was implemented. The new file naming convention (a slightly modified version of the CoastWatch Great Lakes suggestion) conforms to the national CoastWatch standard and paves the way for a new CoastWatch file format to be introduced in the near future. The new CoastWatch file format will be HDF with an image size of 1024 x 1024. However, after input and planning, it was decided to produce CoastWatch Great Lakes imagery and products in PNG and GeoTIFF formats. Work is continuing on conversion to these formats with test data. Implementation on the web is planned for late 2002 or early 2003. In addition, a new CoastWatch image viewing and analysis software tool (CDAT 0.6a-4) was made available for download via the CoastWatch Great Lakes web site.

2001 The introduction of GOES (Geostationary Observational Environmental Satellite) SST images on the CoastWatch Great Lakes web site and the implementation of a new CoastWatch file naming convention for all CoastWatch Great Lakes image and product files were accomplished this year. The new file naming convention conforms to the national CoastWatch standard and paves the way for a new CoastWatch file format to be introduced in the future. In addition, web software was rewritten to make image files available to the user via the web as soon as they are received and processed at GLERL (as opposed to a 6 hour update).

Publications

Leshkevich G.A.and S. Liu. 2003. Environmental Monitoring of the Great Lakes Using CoastWatch Data and JAVA GIS, Backscatter, Alliance for Marine Remote Sensing Association, pg. 13-16.

Leshkevich, G.A., Schwab, D.J., and Muhr, G.C. 1997. Satellite environmental monitoring of the Great Lakes: Great Lakes CoastWatch Program update. Marine Technology Society Journal. 30(4):28-35.

Leshkevich, G.A., Schwab, D.J., and Muhr, G.C. 1995. Satellite environmental monitoring of the Great Lakes: Great Lakes CoastWatch Program Update. In Proceedings: Third Thematic Conference on Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments, Seattle, WA, 18-20 September, ERIM, pp. 116-127.

Leshkevich, G.A., Schwab, D.J., and Muhr, G.C. 1993. Satellite environmental monitoring of the Great Lakes: A review of NOAA’s Great Lakes CoastWatch program. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, 59(3):371-379.

Leshkevich, G.A., Schwab, D.J., and Muhr, G.C. 1992. NOAA’s CoastWatch: Satellite Environmental Monitoring of the Great Lakes. In Proceedings: First Thematic Conference on Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments. ERIM, Ann Arbor, MI. pp.575-588.