Developing satellite-based tool for water turbidity mapping in the Arabian Gulf: Abu Dhabi case study

  • Muna Rashed Al Kaabi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Historical incidents of sudden oil spills and red tides have resulted in serious consequences on the economy, environment and society. For instance, around 90% of water consumed in Abu Dhabi comes from desalinating the Arabian Gulf sea water. Therefore, continuous monitoring of sea water quality near the Abu Dhabi coasts is of paramount importance. For this purpose we develop a satellite-based tool for mapping water turbidity in the Abu Dhabi coasts. Three existing models (Werdell, Morel and Lee) for detecting water turbidity are assessed and recalibrated using MODIS Aqua and Terra satellite imagery data in conjunction with insitu measurements of Secchi depth and Chlorophyll-a taken in the Abu Dhabi coasts in compliance with NASA protocols. The validation of both original Werdell and Lee shows good fitting with insitu measurements. In contrast Morel shows a poor fitting with the in situ data. The develop of both Model 1(based on Werdell’s) and Model 2(based on Lee’s) shows improvement in the estimated values and correlation coefficient (R2= 0.7, R2=0.6), respectively. In contrast, recalibration of Morel still shows increase in the overestimation of the estimated Chlor-a data and poor correlation coefficient (RMSE= 0.072, R2=0.56), meaning that Morel model cannot be recalibrated for the region. Both Model 1 and Model 2 obtained after modifying Werdell and Lee models have shown a promising potential to detect water turbidity over Abu Dhabi coasts.
Date of AwardJun 2013
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMohamed Hosni Ghedira (Supervisor)


  • Abu Dhabi; Water Turbidity; MODIS; Secchi Disk Depth Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient.

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