Min, J. E., Choi, J. K., Yang, H., Lee, S., Ryu, J. H. 2014. Monitoring changes in suspended sediment concentration on the southwestern coast of Korea. In: Green, A.N. and Cooper, J.A.G. (eds.), Proceedings 13th International Coastal Symposium (Durban, South Africa), Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 70, pp. 133–138, ISSN 0749-0208.
Concentrations and distribution patterns of suspended sediment (SS) are key indicators of marine environmental change, particularly in coastal areas, which gives good information on the deposition and migration of sediments from land. In this study we analyzed 632 scenes (79 days × 8 scenes) of Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI) data in order to investigate SS variations relating to tides, tidal currents, bottom morphology, river discharge, and so on. We also compared them to the numerical model of tidal currents for the Yellow Sea. The study area, the coastline of Mokpo, is characterized by shallow water depths (<50 m), a relatively large tidal range (8 m) and by strong tidal currents (1 to 2 m/s). The coastal area of Mokpo shows extremely high SS concentrations (SSC) caused by a resuspension of bottom sediments. GOCI, the world's first geostationary ocean color observation satellite, can obtain data hourly during daylight. Therefore, GOCI is well equipped for the detailed analysis of time-series variations in SSC with regard to tides and tidal currents along Mokpo. The concentrations and distribution patterns of SS in the study area were mainly affected by tidal currents. During flood tide, SSC showed higher values than during ebb tide, and the SS distribution pattern flowed in a northerly direction. On the other hand, during ebb tide, the SS distribution pattern flowed towards the south. Bottom morphology also displayed a similar pattern to the SS distribution.