NASA satellite improves pollution monitoring

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Washington, July 26 (ANI): NASA scientists improved watershed pollution monitoring models by incorporating satellite and ground-based observations of precipitation.

The research team, led by Joseph Nigro of Science Systems and Applications, Inc., incorporated two NASA products into a computer program in BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating Nonpoint Sources).

The NASA data systems were better able to capture the effects of water flow during storm periods that occur frequently in the summer months, than conventional systems available currently.

This is due to the seamless coverage of the datasets as opposed to a single weather station that cannot represent all precipitation events in a given watershed.

The researchers selected seven watersheds within the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin - based on their dispersed locations within the drainage basin, an absence of reservoirs or diversions, and the presence of water quality data.

Each watershed was also selected based on whether it represented a specific topographic and land cover/land use, so that the study could be conducted within a range of elevations and land cover types to understand how these variations affect the results.

Although states may also monitor water quality with in-stream measuring and sampling, some states lack the resources to assess and protect water bodies with monitoring data alone.

The results from the study were reported in the July-August 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality. (ANI)

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