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Water bodies

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ESA / Applications / Observing the Earth / Copernicus / Sentinel-2

The Sentinel-2 mission’s frequent revisits over the same area and high spatial resolution allow changes in inland water bodies and the coastal environment to be closely monitored. 

With its 13 spectral channels, the mission’s novel imager can capture water quality parameters such as the surface concentration of chlorophyll, detect harmful algal blooms, and measure turbidity (or water clarity) – giving a clear indication of the health and pollution levels.

The demand for water is growing inexorably. Access to water is vital – not only for drinking, but also for agriculture, energy and sanitation.

Eye of an algal storm
Eye of an algal storm

In certain regions of the world, water scarcity is caused by population growth, climate conditions and increasing climate variability, economic development or urbanisation.

By providing measurements of water quality and detecting changes, Sentinel-2 can support the sustainable management of water resources.

Water quality information is not only useful in water consumption applications, but can also indicate areas that are safe, or unsafe, to swim. 

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