|Posted on November 16, 2020 at 5:15 AM|
Science of The Total Environment
Volume 731, 20 August 2020, 139012
COVID-19 and surface water quality: Improved lake water quality during the lockdown
Author links open overlay panelAli P.YunusabYasuakiHijiokab
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First attempt to track the impact of the COVID-19 spread on the hydrosphere.
Business lockdown due to the COVID-19 spread improved adjacent lake water quality.
Suspended particular matter concentration in Vembanad lake decreased by 15.9%.
Eleven out of 20 zones showed the lowest April SPM in 2020.
Business activities have a significant impact on the lake water quality.
Human life comes to a standstill as many countries shut themselves off from the work due to the novel coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19) that hit the world severely in the first quarter of 2020. All types of industries, vehicle movement, and people's activity suddenly halted, perhaps for the first time in modern history. For a long time, it has been stated in various literature that the increased industrialization and anthropogenic activities in the last two decades polluted the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Since the industries and people's activities have been shut off for a month or more in many parts of the world, it is expected to show some improvement in the prevailing conditions in the aforementioned spheres of environment. Here, with the help of remote sensing images, this work quantitatively demonstrated the improvement in surface water quality in terms of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the Vembanad Lake, the longest freshwater lake in India. The SPM estimated based on established turbidity algorithm from Landsat-8 OLI images showed that the SPM concentration during the lockdown period decreased by 15.9% on average (range: −10.3% to 36.4%, up to 8 mg/l decrease) compared with the pre-lockdown period. Time series analysis of satellite image collections (April 2013 – April 2020) showed that the SPM quantified for April 2020 is the lowest for 11 out of 20 zones of the Vembanad lake. When compared with preceding years, the percentage decrease in SPM for April 2020 is up to 34% from the previous minima.
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