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Climate Detectives (investigation category)

Team: Detectives Clima Hércules

Spain 19 years old, 15 years old   1, 1 / 0

Project title:

Cyanobacteria concentration in the lagoons and marshes of Chiclana, C√°diz

Research question

Are there notable differences in cyanobacteria concentration among different locations in Chiclana? How do those concentrations change in time? What are the possible causes and consequences?

Identify the local environmental/climate problem you want to investigate

In the Chiclana area, we have a landscape with marshes and salt pans, a river and its estuary, and several endorheic lagoons throughout the municipal area, as well as an extensive coastline with three beaches of different nature.

With climate change, especially the small lagoons, become stagnant water reservoirs that eventually dry up. On the other hand, we face the problem of water pollution. We would like to understand the level of pollution in the waters of Chiclana by studying the degree of eutrophication, investigating how this pollution varies among different locations in our municipality, identifying possible causes, and examining the consequences that eutrophication can have on the ecosystem and water usage.

Project topic

Rivers & Lakes

Describe how you plan to investigate the problem identified and which data you plan to analyse.

We will use the historical records of rainfall and temperature to establish local trends related to climate change. Additionally, we will utilize the EO BROWSER application to analyze satellite images from Earth observation satellites (Landsat and Sentinel) to study the evolution of the areas corresponding to the lagoons and marshes in our environment. Furthermore, we will investigate the quality and biological contamination of the waters in terms of eutrophication (cyanobacteria concentration) using the Ulysses and Se2Waq scripts, or potentially others available on the EO BROWSER platform.

In a later stage, we intend to carry out local measurements of cyanobacteria concentration in various locations in our environment to contrast the statistics extracted from the satellite image analysis with the previously mentioned scripts.

Through the study of these data, we aim to gain a historical perspective on the current situation and determine if it is related to climate change or intensive water usage. We also want to understand how the studied indices vary in relation to annual drought periods, to comprehend the potential consequences if drought becomes established.


Your feedback

Expert feedback Phase 1 - 2023-2024
Is the suggested problem a problem that the students can actually investigate? Is it feasible, realistic? Please explain why or why not. Is the relation with climate/local environment worked out? Where necessary indicate the wider scientific context to which the identified problem belongs.