Total Suspended Matter

CoastObs uses Earth Observation and in situ data to provide information on TSM at a regular frequency.

Why is it important?

TSM plays an important role in water quality management since it determines the light climate in the water. TSM can give us an insight into coastal dynamics (erosion, accretion) and total primary production. TSM can further provide information on anthropogenic impacts, such as dredging and fluxes of heavy metals and micropollutants.

What does CoastObs offer?

CoastObs service provides highly accurate and timely geospatial information for providing total suspended matter maps at a spatial/temporal resolution of 300m (daily), 10m (5 days), or higher resolution (variable).

How was the data validated?

The TSM product was validated using one year of high-frequency measurement in the Loire estuary (Figure 1) over a large range of TSM concentration (10 – 3000 g m-3 ). The in situ TSM data was provided by a regional structure in charge of the estuary’s environmental monitoring (

Case study example: Suspended matter in in the Loire estuary

Figure 1. TSM map in the Loire Estuary, France, derived from Sentinel2 data, showing a turbid sediment plume flowing into the ocean.


  • Regional variability of sediment characteristics may require algorithm calibration
  • In shallow waters, bottom visibility can interfere with the signal
  • Availability depends on cloud cover