UNDERSTANDING THE BEHAVIOUR OF CONTAMINATION SPREAD IN NAGARJUNA SAGAR RESERVOIR USING TEMPORAL LANDSAT DATA
Keywords: Nutrient Pollution, Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir, Remote sensing, LANDSAT, Inland water bodies
Abstract. LANDSAT images are used to identify organic contaminants in water bodies, but, there is no enough evidence in present literature that LANDSAT is also good in identifying a mixture of organic and mineral contaminants such as agricultural waste. The focus of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of LANDSAT imagery to identify organic and mineral contamination (OMC) and to identify spread extent variations of pollution over the season/year in the Nagarjuna Sagar (NS) reservoir using only satellite images. A new band combination is proposed in order to detect OMC, because existing formulae based on band ratio proved to be inadequate in detecting the contamination in NS. Difference in reflectance values of Red and Green channel of an image helps clearly distinguish clear water from OMC water. This procedure was applied over LANDSAT data of the calendar years 2008, 2014 and 2015 to understand the contamination spread pattern through the reservoir. Results show that contamination is following a similar pattern over these calendar years. In January contamination starts at inlets and by May contamination spreads to almost 90% of the reservoir when the total area of water spread is also reduced by half. Contamination spread is low during the monsoonal period of June to September due to heavy inflow and heavy outflow of waters from NS reservoir. Post monsoon NS is contaminated again because of heavy inflow of runoffs from neighboring land use and limited water outflow. This contamination spread pattern matches the agricultural seasons and fertilizer application pattern in this region, indicating that agricultural use of fertilizers could be one of the primary causes of contamination for this waterbody.