Remote sensing has been extensively used for water delineation and has played an important role in water quality evaluation and environmental management strategies. Suspended sediments are important determinants of water quality in coastal zones. Remote sensing enables the effective monitoring of total suspended sediments (TSS) and the detection of areas with critical water quality issues. This study aims to develop and implement regression models for estimating and mapping TSS concentrations from Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS) images over the coastal waters of Langkawi Island, Malaysia. The algorithm was developed based on the water reflectance model, which is a function of the inherent optical properties of water. Such properties can then be linked to TSS concentration. In this study, an ALOS Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer type 2 device was used as the imaging sensor system. Concurrent complementary in-situ water samples were collected within the area coverage of the sensor, and digital numbers (DN) for each band corresponding to the sea-truth locations were determined. The extracted DN values were converted into reflectance values and then regressed with their respective sea-truth data. An algorithm was proposed to obtain the regression coefficient. This algorithm can estimate TSS concentrations with a high correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.96) and low root-mean-square error (RMSE = 1.98 mg/l). Finally, a map of the TSS concentration was generated by using the proposed algorithm. This study found that TSS mapping can be conducted by using ALOS data over the coastal waters of Langkawi Island, Malaysia. © 2013 Indian Society of Remote Sensing.
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