Satellite Based Status Classification of Swedish Coastal Water Bodies - a Basis for the Water Framework Directive
Philipson, Petra1; Hedvall, T2; Ruescas, A3; Gei▀ler, J3; Stelzer, K3
1Brockmann Geomatics Sweden AB, SWEDEN; 2BG, SWEDEN; 3BC, GERMANY

Major international, national and regional agreements, directives and management plans aim to protect and monitor aquatic habitats in order to assure sustainable management of ecosystems. A fundamental part of this work is to monitor temporal variation in order to assure a satisfactory status of water bodies and to assess the spatial distribution of the most sensitive and essential habitats requiring long-term protection. Recognizing the importance of protecting and restoring habitats to sustain biodiversity is reflected in many initiatives worldwide, in the EU first and foremost in the Birds- and Habitats Directives. There is also a need to assess the environmental status of the water bodies, as requested by EU:s Water Framework Directive (WFD). These mandatory assessments are hampered today by the size and enormous number of water bodies in total. Conventional ecological monitoring methods require excessive efforts to achieve adequate temporal and spatial coverage. However, sensors like ENVISAT/MERIS (or Sentinel-3/OLCI in the future), cover large areas swiftly and frequently and prime ecological indicators such as chlorophyll a and Secchi depth can be measured with remote sensing technique. Remote sensing can thus provide the key to the implementation of many of the directives and management plans at the desired spatial and temporal coverage and enables a fast and cost-effective method to map prime characteristics of aquatic habitats. Brockmann Geomatics has been project manager for several Swedish National Space Board and national end-user supported developments for water quality monitoring in the Swedish lakes and coastal zone. These developments have resulted in an assignment were satellite based water quality data and calculated status class for all water bodies in the Swedish coastal zone will be delivered to the Swedish Water Authorities and the coastal County Administrative Boards. The data will serve as one of the official sources of information to be used in the revision of the status classification in response to the Water Framework Directive during 2013. Satellite based water quality data will then, for the first time, be one of the official sources of information in the upcoming status classification. Results and experience from the developments, production, final results and validation will be presented.