Coastal regions contaminated by polluted river water leaving inland river basins can be difficult to monitor due to their size and remoteness, but it is important to quantify the impact of such pollution to manage for coastal sustainability. In this research, we demonstrate how river plumes can be monitored and analysed by a combination of remote sensing and river basin modelling to estimate their spatial, temporal, and water quality characteristics. Our results show that multispectral remote sensing is able to differentiate the water quality characteristics and two-dimensional spatial characteristics between plumes from four discharge locations along the coast of Campania, Italy. Our results also show that river basin modelling, when informed by land cover, land use and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) data, is able to estimate the plume volume, and pollutant load, attributed to rainfall-runoff and wastewater-discharge for each of the discharges. This research documents a new method for combining remote sensing and watershed modelling to quantify the environmental impact of pollution from coastal rivers.
environmental monitoring, polluted river, remote sensing, river basin modelling, river plumes, water quality
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