Sargassum Research Enhanced by INDRHI’s Utilization of Satellite Images

The National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, INDRHI, internally shared progress of the study it is carrying out on the spatio-temporal distribution of sargassum specifically in the Bávaro – Punta Cana coastal area, which it carries out with financing from the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Innovation and Development, Fondocyt. , from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT) currently 60% completed and with a view to being delivered in the second quarter of next year 2024.

The investigation, which develops through the Center for the Sustainable Management of Water Resources in the Caribbean Island States (CEHICA), it is directed by the consultant Juan Luis Ramírez Duval, who shared with professionals from different areas of the INDRHI about the use of images and GIS tools used for monitoring the aquatic plant, its impact on water and soil quality.

As a preliminary result of the investigation, Ramírez indicated that the season of presence on the surface, average and percentage of sargassum in the area runs from May to September (5 months), presenting its highest peak in June and July, he explained that the reduction of oxygen due to increased temperatures. While, in the analysis of the highest concentration of sargassum by area, he reported that Macao beach in Bávaro was less impacted, due to factors such as sea current and wind speed.

He explained about earth observation data portals that are very useful for the development of research, highlighting the “Copernicus Data Space Ecosystem”, a European Union platform, as part of the set of tools that place novel geographic information in the hands of professionals. with resolution for outstanding results.

He also alluded to the geospatial analysis platform Google Earth Engine (GEE) within portals that offer tools for researchers, as it condenses satellite images.

He indicated that the final results of the Sargasso Project will be delivered during the second quarter of next year, and that in the future he hopes it will be replicated in different tourist centers of the country.

It should be noted that Ramírez Duval presented in July 2022 the results of the research project “Renaturalization and Conservation of the Water Resources of the Valle Nuevo National Park, through Hydromorphological Research”, carried out by the INDRHI through CEHICA, and also financed by the Fondocyt.

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