The Sediment Analysis Network for Decision Support (SANDS) project is helping resolve Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) priority issues by generating decision support products from MODIS, Landsat, and SeaWiFS data. The Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA) and the Information Technology and Systems Center (ITSC) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville are teaming on this NASA funded effort. The ITSC has obtained the remotely sensed data from NASA data centers. The data sets have been subset over the Nothern Gulf of Mexico study region and converted to GeoTiff format for analysis by GSA. The Landsata and MODIS data are avaialble from this website and the SANDS ftp server. GSA has produced enhanced imagery (preliminary resuts shown below) that depict suspended sediments. The analysis has also revealed that oil floating on the surface can be extraced using the same technique.
Influence of Sediment Disturbance
Since the year 2000, eastern Louisiana, coastal Mississippi, Alabama, and the western Florida panhandle have been affected by 28 tropical storms, seven of which were hurricanes. These tropical cyclones have significantly altered normal coastal processes and characteristics in the Gulf region through sediment disturbance. In fact, tropical storm-induced sediment disturbance is a factor in four of the five Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) priority issues:

• water quality for beaches and shellfish beds,
• wetland and coastal conservation restoration,
• characterization of Gulf habitats,
• and reduction of nutrient inputs to coastal systems.

NASA Earth Science Source Data
NASA Earth science products used in this project will include:

• Landsat 7 ETM+ all bands for years 2000 through 2002
• Landsat 5 TM all bands for years 2003 through 2008
• MODIS Aqua surface reflectance bands 8 through 16
• SeaWiFS data, all bands, for scenes covering the region
• SRTM elevation data
• NDVI and EVI vegetation indices derived from MODIS