Nagur Cherukuru is an optical oceanographer at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). His research focusses on understanding the optical response associated with changing dynamics in estuarine, coastal, shelf and oceanic environments. He specialises in bio-optical measurements, underwater light climate modelling and remote sensing algorithm development for complex aquatic environments. Previously, Nagur worked as a research fellow at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, University of Plymouth and at the Indian Space Research organisation.
Changing climate, increased frequency in extreme events, rapid changes in coastal land use, nutrient pollution, and intensified sediment runoff have degraded coastal water quality around the world. This degradation can significantly impact seagrass communities, coral reefs, fish populations and overall ecosystem health. Poor coastal ecosystem health can reduce the socio-economic conditions of the human population that depends on them. Thus it is important to monitor these ecosystems towards sustainable management.
Traditional methods of monitoring coastal waters are expensive, cumbersome and only offers limited spatial description. Satellite optical remote sensing is a well-accepted monitoring tool for the management of large coastal and marine regions. In the past decade satellite sensor technology advanced significantly, resulting in the generation of large volumes of observations from space. However, to take advantage of the available large volumes of remote sensing observations, a thorough understanding of the regional optical properties and their variability in response to changing hydrodynamic and biogeochemical conditions is essential.
This presentation will discuss spectral differences in the optical signature of particulate and dissolved substances in coastal waters, optical response to changing oceanographic processes and implications to the interpretation of the remote sensing signature. Limitations with global remote sensing algorithms are highlighted and new process specific algorithms are outlined. Finally, examples of CSIRO remote sensing products and models used in the management of coastal waters of Great Barrier Reef region are presented.