Combining Landsat TM/ETM+ and HJ-1 A/B CCD Sensors for Monitoring Coastal Water Quality in Hong Kong

Majid Nazeer, Janet Elizabeth Nichol

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


High suspended solid (SS) concentrations in coastal waters are aesthetically undesirable, and adversely affect fisheries and coastal ecosystems. Environmental agencies usually require frequent measurements of SS over coastal regions at a spatially detailed level for water quality assessment and control. To develop a method for SS estimation in the complex coastal waters of Hong Kong, an archive of 57 Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM), Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), and HJ-1 A/B Charged Couple Device (CCD) images over a 13-year period from January 2000 to December 2012 was used. Atmospherically corrected Landsat TM/ETM+ and HJ-1 A/B CCD bands 1-4 along with 240 in situ field samples of SS concentration collected within 2 h of image acquisition, were used to develop and validate regression models over a wide range of SS concentrations from 0.5-56.0 mg/L. The best representation of actual SS concentrations was given by the log-transformed combination of Band 2 (Green, 0.52-0.60 μm) and Band 3 (Red, 0.63-0.69 μm), with correlation coefficient (R) of 0.85, root-mean-square error of 2.60 mg/L and mean absolute error of 2.04 mg/L. This is attributed to the sensitivity of SS to green and red wavelengths specific to the characteristic refractive index and grain size of SS found in Hong Kong waters. This letter is considered more robust than previous studies, due to the much larger number of images and in situ samples used for model development and validation, as well as the different times of year and wide range of SS concentrations investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2436899
Pages (from-to)1898-1902
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • Coastal water
  • HJ-1 A/B
  • Hong Kong
  • Landsat
  • Surface reflectance (SR)
  • Suspended solids (SS)
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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