Utah Lake is a really large but shallow lake located in the arid environment of the Western United States. Due to a variety of factors it is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as an "impaired water body" and must be closely monitored. Because of its large extent and shallow depth the water quality is heterogeneous and can change rapidly. This means that traditional water quality monitoring methods, which require large investments in field personnel, equipment, and water sample analysis, cannot produce a model that is truly representative of the entire water body. This thesis examines the feasibility of using remotely sensed imagery to develop a water quality monitoring system for Utah Lake that is accurate, repeatable and cost-effective. Due to the paucity of in situ water quality information, this is primarily a pilot study using Landsat satellite imagery collected within a 5-day window of existing in situ water samples measuring chlorophyll a. The brightness values of the imagery were regressed against the water samples to produce a model to accurately predict chlorophyll a concentrations across the entire lake. The results of the pilot study conclude that Landsat imagery could be a very useful monitoring tool if sufficient in situ data for calibration were available.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Geography



Date Submitted


Document Type





geography, water quality, chlorophyll, Utah Lake, remote sensing, Landsat, Spatial Modeler, ERDAS, water, pollutants

Included in

Geography Commons