Jill Downing

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Rolland Fraser

Second Advisor

Dr. David G. Dickason

Third Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Suspended sediments derived from surface runoff can cause deterioration in aquatic ecosystems by reducing sunlight penetrating through suspended solids to reach subsurface biological organisms. It can also have an adverse effect on recreational, agricultural, and industrial uses. Monitoring the spatial distribution of suspended sediments is important in resource management of surface waters. Field spectrometry has been applied successfully toward establishing relationships between spectral response and water quality parameters including suspended sediment concentrations. The objective of this research was to develop possible correlations between hyperspectrum and water quality attributes of depth, turbidity, and nutrients of an inland freshwater lake in southwest Michigan.

Results indicate significant relationships between the first derivative and turbidity at 700 nm, nitrogen at 783 nm, and phosphorus at 783 nm. Significant inverse relationships were found between the first derivative and depth at 553 nm; total dissolved solids at 637, 745, and 777 nm; alkalinity at 728 nm; nitrogen at 743 nm; and phosphorus at 743 nm.