Near-shore phytoplankton bloom captured from space
08 June 2017
Last year, the Sentinel-2A satellite captured an intense algal bloom very close to the Belgian coast. The high-resolution capabilities of Sentinel-2's main instrument are allowing scientists to monitor algae blooms in areas previously not possible to observe with satellites.
Like many European countries, Belgium regularly reports on the quality of its coastal waters to the European Commission. Water quality measurements have been made from ships for this purpose since the 1980s and, for over a decade, satellite data from Envisat and from Sentinel-3A have been used to supplement ship-based measurements.
While these satellite data have been vital for water quality monitoring, they do not provide the adequate coverage nor resolution for monitoring close to the coast.