The Minnesota LakeBrowser is an online, interactive lake water clarity mapping tool with Landsat-derived classifications of lake clarity of more than 10,500 lakes for seven years from 1975 to 2008.
Typically, the Minnesota LakeBrowser is used to find the clarity of any Minnesota lake(s). To do so, you can either zoom in and out of areas to locate lakes of interest, or simply search lakes by typing a lake name in the Search box. Once you have found a particular lake, you can retrieve more detailed lake water information from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Landsat data have been archived since Landsat 1 was launched in 1972 at the EROS Center and enable us to retrospectively classify the images and look at historical trends. This type of visual information helps resource managers target problem areas, enables systematic monitoring of inland lakes, and demonstrates the power of satellite remote sensing. With statewide lake water clarity data for more than one time period, statistical summaries statistical summaries which compare the average clarities over time by county, ecoregion and for the whole state can be developed.
The techniques developed for Minnesota have also been applied to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio and Ontario. For Ontario, chlorophyll was classified using MERIS data from the European Envisat satellite.