Hydrology: Assessment of the Hydrologic properties of Utah Lake using UAV's

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This research will investigate how hydrologists can utilize UAV's to better understand hydrologic properties at Utah Lake such as temperature, turbidity, and chlorophyll levels.  These properties can then be utilized to help state officials investigate how groundwater and surface water interact and how algal blooms grow during the summer.


Research Questions + Student Activities:

Year 2- Use thermal sensors to map the surface temperature distribution of select regions within the Lake during the summer.   Students will 1) Use the thermal sensors to map the surface temperature distribution of Utah Lake. 2) Determine if the temperature distribution data can help identify effuse groundwater sources in the Lake and identify thermal plumes from hot springs that enter the lake? 

Year 3- Use both multispectral sensors and thermal sensors to map the lake at RBG, NDVI, and NDRE wavelengths. Students will 1) continue to analyze thermal data at other regions within the lake and will use the data to 2) investigate how surface temperature distribution and the multispectral wavelengths indicate the onset of harmful algal blooms (HAB's)?


Faculty Mentor: Daren Nelson, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Science

Partnering Agencies: USGS Water Center,  Provo River Water Commissioner