The spatial resolution of global ocean color satellites are too coarse to provide usable data within estuaries. The more recent Landsat 8 satellite has both the spatial resolution and the necessary signal to noise ratio to provide temperature as well as ocean color derived products along complex coastlines.

Due to its complex coastline, abundance of estuarine indentations, and importance of the aquaculture industry, we chose the coast of Maine as a case study for the application of remote sensing products for aquaculture site selection. We collected all the relevant Landsat scenes, filtered out clouds, atmospherically corrected them, and derived time varying fields (repeat time of Landsat is 16 days) of temperature (100 m resolution) and suspended materials concentration (30 m resolution). We optimized the process using validation at several in-situ locations along the Maine coast where monitoring buoys and programs are in place.

Initial analysis of these of the validated fields has revealed ten promising areas for oyster aquaculture. The approach used and the data collected to date show promise for other applications in the marine coastal environments including water quality monitoring and ecosystem management.