Monitoring urban black-odorous water by using hyperspectral data and machine learning

Document Type


Publication Date



Geography and Geology

Publication Title

Environmental Pollution


Economic development, population growth, industrialization, and urbanization dramatically increase urban water quality deterioration, and thereby endanger human life and health. However, there are not many efficient methods and techniques to monitor urban black and odorous water (BOW) pollution. Our research aims at identifying primary indicators of urban BOW through their spectral characteristics and differentiation. This research combined ground in-situ water quality data with ground hyperspectral data collected from main urban BOWs in Guangzhou, China, and integrated factorial data mining and machine learning techniques to investigate how to monitor urban BOW. Eight key water quality parameters at 52 sample sites were used to retrieve three latent dimensions of urban BOW quality by factorial data mining. The synchronically measured hyperspectral bands along with the band combinations were examined by the machine learning technique, Lasso regression, to identify the most correlated bands and band combinations, over which three multiple regression models were fitted against three latent water quality indicators to determine which spectral bands were highly sensitive to three dimensions of urban BOW pollution. The findings revealed that the many sensitive bands were concentrated in higher hyperspectral band ranges, which supported the unique contribution of hyperspectral data for monitoring water quality. In addition, this integrated data mining and machine learning approach overcame the limitations of conventional band selection, which focus on a limited number of band ratios, band differences, and reflectance bands in the lower range of infrared region. The outcome also indicated that the integration of dimensionality reduction with feature selection shows good potential for monitoring urban BOW. This new analysis framework can be used in urban BOW monitoring and provides scientific data for policymakers to monitor it.

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