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J Environ Manage. 2006 Dec;81(4):429-33. Epub 2006 Apr 18.

Water quality assessment using remote sensing techniques: Medrano Creek, Argentina.

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Centro Atómico Constituyentes, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Two spectral bands of the visible spectrum [0.45-0.52 microm (Blue), 0.52-0.60 microm (Green)] of satellite images obtained by LANDSAT 7 ETM+ have been used in this study to follow the contaminated waters of Medrano Creek when it flows into Río de la Plata River. The former is one of the five fresh watercourses going through the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where 13 million people live. Previous studies have shown that the water quality of Rio de la Plata at the outlet of Medrano Creek has decreased more than 50% as a source of water for human consumption. The non-treated effluents of the textile industry probably affect the water quality. We have developed a model that predicts the water quality index (WQI) of surface waters in the study area and uses linear regression analysis. The model has been validated using a data set of 12 physicochemical parameters obtained during the last 3 years. The potentiality of using satellite images was confirmed by the results: (a) to trace the organic contamination (associated with dyes) in freshwater systems and (b) as tools for decision making in the management of water resources.

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