Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN)

Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN)

Version 5 of CyAN data were released on May 22, 2023. Click here for details.


Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) is a multi-agency project among EPA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to support the environmental management and public use of U.S. lakes and estuaries by providing a capability of detecting and quantifying cyanobacteria algal blooms. This effort has resulted in the production of satellite remote sensing products using the cyanobacteria index (CI) algorithm to estimate cyanobacteria concentrations (CI_cyano) in lakes across the contiguous United States (CONUS) and Alaska.

The CI data products available are GeoTIFF dailies and a 7-day maximum value composites from different ESA sensors: MERIS (2002-2012) and OLCI on Sentinel-3A (2016-present) and OLCI on Sentinel-3B (2018-present).

Data produced for CONUS and Alaska is delivered in tiles referred to as the column number followed by row number (see maps). The sensor spatial resolution is 300m. The CONUS images use a 50m land mask, while the Alaska product uses a less refined 500m land mask. The temporal resolution depends on the sensor and date with best coverage since 2018, as images utilize sensors on two Sentinel-3 satellites.

cyan tiles - Contiguous USA (CONUS) cyan tiles - Alaska
Figure 1: Data tile definition for Congituous US (CONUS) and Alaska

The GeoTIFF data is provided as digital numbers (DN). Areas with no data, land, and cloud cover are flagged.

cyan colorbar

DN Guide:

  • 0 indicates below threshold of CI detection limits (grey color)
  • 1-253 are data
  • 254 is land (brown)
  • 255 are no data (black--e.g., a cloudy pixel)

To convert Digital Number (DN) to CI_cyano:

$CI_{cyano} = 10^{(DN * 0.011714 - 4.1870866)}$

That range is ~10,000 to 7,000,000 cells/ml.

Figure 2: Example imagery one can produce from standard CyAN data products.

CyAN File Naming Convention

(e.g. L20202012020207.L3m_7D_CYAN_CI_cyano_CYAN_CONUS_300m_5_2)


S = Instrument/Sensor (e.g. M= MERIS, L = OLCI);
YYYYDDDYYYYDDD (20202012020207) = year 2020 calendar day 201 through year 2020 calendar day 207;
LLL = Satellite processing: L3m (level 3 mapped);
TT = Time length of data composite (e.g. DAY=Daily);
7D = 7-day composite;
PRODUCT = Project identifier: CYAN_ CI_cyano, CyANTC_tc, CYANAK_ CI_cyano, CYANAKTC_tc
(CI_cyano is the CI cyanobacteria product and tc is the true color product);
TILEVERSION = Tile version: CYAN_CONUS (contiguous USA; CYAN_AK (Alaska);
RESOLUTION = pixel resolution: 300m;
TILEcol = Tile location: column number: 5 in example
row = Tile row number: 2 in example

Release Notes

The Release Notes provide an overview on CyAN data and imagery production, interpretation, limitations and know issues, in addition to details on version updates.

Trainings and Tools

A variety of trainings have been developed to allow end users to work with the CyAN data. The trainings cover the CyAN mobile app, SeaDAS software, and RS_Tools.

Mobile App Tutorials

SeaDAS Training

RS Tools

RSTools allows calculation of all composites and extraction of time series data for points and polygons using ArcGIS.


Below are links to shapefiles that are available to download. The shapefiles are not perfect and occasionally updates are made to correct known errors. You can also edit them for your own needs. The CONUS Shapefile is from the NHDPlus version 2.0 database. More information can be found here.