Good water quality is essential for the aquaculture industry and fisheries, and is also important for leisure use: beaches, swimming, surfing etc. Poor water quality can reduce biodiversity and put sensitive coastal habitats at risk. The ability to monitor water quality is thus important for coastal planners and managers in a range of different contexts – from the protection of important coastal habitats to the development of Blue Economy sectors such as aquaculture and tourism.
The EO4SD coastal water quality service will deliver daily maps of chlorophyll-a concentration at 1km or 300m resolution based on measurements from the OLCI instrument on the Sentinel-3 satellites. Chlorophyll is a measure of phytoplankton productivity, with high concentrations indicating high nutrient content and possible eutrophication of coastal water.
Where higher resolution is required for specific coastal areas, the service may deliver water quality information from Sentinel-2 MSI, which has capabilities for the retrieval of suspended particulate matter and possibly chlorophyll-a.