Analysis of harmful algal blooms in Lake Titicaca using remote sensing

Lake Titicaca is located between the countries of Peru and Bolivia at the height of 3812 m.a.s.l., it is the highest navigable lake in the world, considered in the List of Wetlands of International Importance of Ramsar. Flora and fauna in this lake is diverse. Due to the mismanagement of waste from the cities surrounding Lake Titicaca, in the last 30 years a green carpet of Lemna gibba, also known as duckweed, has been formed, this type of aquatic plant is found mainly in lakes and rivers. The factors that contribute to the growth of the duckweed are the bad collection and treatment of garbage, the formal and informal mining and the treatment of the drains, these sources of contamination come from Peru and Bolivia. Harmful algal formations feed on the nutrients contained in the wastewater and deteriorate the quality and water renewal capacity, degrade the habitat, contribute to the disappearance of oxygen from the water, which leads to the death of any form of aquatic life. The rapid proliferation of duckweed has turned it into a toxic bloom of binational concern. Given this problematic, the present study has the primary objective of performing a spatiotemporal analysis of harmful algal blooms in Lake Titicaca using remote sensing images and geographic information systems. This analysis could be a crucial tool to obtain parameters such as the characteristics of absorption and retrospection and anomalies in the concentration of chlorophyll, that will allow us to detect the presence of harmful algae blooms in the study area. In this research, three Landsat 8 satellite images of different months of the year 2018 were studied, it was possible to calculate that the average area affected by the bloom of duckweed is 2758.7 (ha). In the near future the present study aims to identify, monitor the algal blooms in the lake, which will allow us to identify priority areas of attention, and generate intervention and conservation maps in Lake Titicaca.
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International Astronautical Congress