Cheney Reservoir is the primary water supply for the city of Wichita, Kansas, and an important recreational resource. The occurrence of cyanobacterial blooms and associated compounds are a threat to this resource. Spatial variability in cyanobacteria and microcystin (a toxin) in Cheney Reservoir was assessed during August 2011 by collecting discrete water samples from 45 locations in the reservoir. Sample collection was planned to coincide with a Landsat 5 pass to develop an algorithm to estimate algal biomass (as chlorophyll) in the reservoir. The distribution of estimated algal biomass will be compared to the distribution observed in discrete samples. This effort will document the utility of satellite imagery in estimating algal biomass and distribution in a Midwestern reservoir. Satellite imagery may serve as an early warning for cyanobacterial bloom development, provide information on cyanobacterial distribution in reservoirs, and guide sampling decisions and strategies.
Cyanobacterial bloom in Cheney Reservoir, Kansas, August 2011.