HYPERMAQ - Hyperspectral and multi-mission high resolution optical remote sensing of aquatic environments

Context and objectives


Algorithms for remote sensing of suspended particulate matter and chlorophyll concentration are quite mature and applications related to coastal sediment transport and environmental monitoring are routinely using satellite data. The challenge for researchers is now to estimate more than just concentration. Sediment transport users want spatial and temporal information on particle size and composition. Marine biologists and water quality managers want information on phytoplankton and benthic community composition, which is particularly difficult to obtain from remote sensing in turbid waters. The advent of spaceborne hyperspectral instruments offers the potential to yield more information on aquatic particles, both algal and non-algal. 

The objective of the HYPERMAQ project was then to develop new remote sensing algorithms using hyperspectral data for estimating in turbid waters: microalgae and macroalgae species composition, sediment type and size and water reflectance with an improvement of atmospheric correction.

Project outcome

Scientific results 

In plus of the large data collection, HYPERMAQ results include the production of two PANTHYR prototypes, the refinement of algorithms for P. globosa detection in the North Sea, algorithm for floating vegetation in the Rio de la Plata, algorithm for main phytoplankton groups in the China Sea, a better understanding of limitations in detection of particle size distribution from water radiometry and a better understanding of Spuikom ecology. Regarding remote sensing application, HYPERMAQ results also showed that an excellent relative inter-band calibration of hyperspectral sensors will be critical for phytoplankton species detection. 

Societal (including environmental) relevance 

Results of HYPERMAQ will allow improving water monitoring using remote sensing for example to monitor floating vegetation in Rio de la Plata or the real time monitoring of P. globosa in North Sea with PANTHYR measurements. 

Products and services 

Several datasets and algortihms have been developed during the HYPERMAQ project: see the STEREO Toolbox page


Potential users

Water environmental agencies.


HYPERMAQ: Improving water monitoring with hyperspectral

HYPERMAQ: Améliorer la surveillance des eaux de surface grâce à l'hyperspectral

HYPERMAQ: Verbetering van de watermonitoring met hyperspectrale data

Project leader(s): IRSNB/KBIN - Directorate Natural Environment - Ecosystems data processing and modelling
Belgian partner(s)
CATTRIJSSE André Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee
SABBE Koen UGent - Protistology & Aquatic Ecology Research Group
International partner(s)
DOXARAN David Laboratoire d Océanographie de Villefranche
Location: Country:
  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • China
  • France

  • Belgian coastal waters
  • Spuikom (Belgian inland waters)
  • Rio de la Plata and Chascomus Lake (Argentina)
  • Gironde Estuary (France)
  • Yangtze Estuary (China)

Related presentations:
Website: https://odnature.naturalsciences.be/hypermaq/