Satellite Derived Estimation of Chlorophyll-A on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Selected Dams of Vhembe District, Limpopo Province

Satellite Derived Estimation of Chlorophyll-A on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Selected Dams of Vhembe District, Limpopo Province

Linton F. Munyai Farai Dondofema Kawawa Banda Mulalo I. Mutoti Jabulani R. Gumbo

Aquatic Systems Research Group, Department of Geography and Environmental sciences, University of Venda,South Africa

Integrated Water Resources Management Centre, C/O Department of Geology, University of Zambia, Zambia

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Venda, South Africa

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| Citation



Satellite remote sensing techniques have been proved to be capable of quantifying chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) levels by estimating algal concentrations in water bodies. harmful algal blooms (HABs) pose a significant threat to many water bodies in South Africa. This study aimed at using a remote sensing solution to estimate chlorophyll concentrations in water bodies of Vhembe District Municipality using Landsat 8 OLI. This study seeks to provide quantitative water quality information for the Vhembe region’s water bodies from a time series of satellite remotely sensed data and in-situ laboratory data. The 30 meters spatial resolution multispectral Landsat 8 OLI for 2016, 2017 and 2018 were used to derive Chl-estimate at three water bodies, namely, Nandoni, Albasini and Vondo reserviors. The Chl-concentrations obtained from Landsat 8 (OLI) satellite were compared with the laboratory analysis using the Kappa coefficient statistical analysis. This study show that Landsat derived chl-estimates have a high positive correlation of 80–90% accurate with field measurements. In all the reservoirs, it was detected that there is low content of HABs and thus the water bodies are in good condition since the chl-concentrations were very low. In conclusion, it can be stated that Landsat 8 OLI sensor can be used to map and monitor inland water bodies dominated by algal blooms to a certain extent.


chlorophyll-a, harmful algal blooms, Landsat 8-OLI, remote sensing, water quality.


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