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How is the Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 Coastal/Aerosol Band 1 used?

The Operational Land Imager Band 1 (0.433-0.453 µm) on Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 is useful for imaging shallow water and tracking fine atmospheric particles like dust and smoke.

Band 1 reflects blues and violets, where light is scattered by dust, smoke, and water particles in the air. Collecting data with enough sensitivity at this spectrum is difficult. Since water absorbs and scatters light, oceans and lakes tend to look dark or lack detail on satellite images. This is especially true in the sediment-laden waters near coastlines, where subtle differences in the color of intensity can indicate what is mixed in the water. Scientists have used the coastal band to monitor chlorophyll concentrations and suspended sediments in the water, as well as phytoplankton and algae blooms.

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Lake Erie algal bloom
Landsat satellites captured this image of Lake Erie during a harmful algal bloom event.