Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Books and Book Chapters

Coral Reef Remote Sensing: A Guide for Mapping, Monitoring and Management

Coral Reef Remote Sensing: A Guide for Mapping, Monitoring and Management



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Acoustics, Benthic Habitat, Climate Change, Coral Reef, Lidar, Mapping, Monitoring, Remote Sensing


Remote sensing stands as the defining technology in our ability to monitor coral reefs, as well as their biophysical properties and associated processes, at regional to global scales. With overwhelming evidence that much of Earth’s reefs are in decline, our need for large-scale, repeatable assessments of reefs has never been so great. Fortunately, the last two decades have seen a rapid expansion in the ability for remote sensing to map and monitor the coral reef ecosystem, its overlying water column, and surrounding environment. Remote sensing is now a fundamental tool for the mapping, monitoring and management of coral reef ecosystems. Remote sensing offers repeatable, quantitative assessments of habitat and environmental characteristics over spatially extensive areas. As the multi-disciplinary field of coral reef remote sensing continues to mature, results demonstrate that the techniques and capabilities continue to improve. New developments allow reef assessments and mapping to be performed with higher accuracy, across greater spatial areas, and with greater temporal frequency. The increased level of information that remote sensing now makes available also allows more complex scientific questions to be addressed. As defined for this book, remote sensing includes the vast array of geospatial data collected from land, water, ship, airborne and satellite platforms. The book is organized by technology, including: visible and infrared sensing using photographic, multispectral and hyperspectral instruments; active sensing using light detection and ranging (LiDAR); acoustic sensing using ship, autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and in-water platforms; and thermal and radar instruments.

Emphasis and Audience This book serves multiple roles. It offers an overview of the current state-of-the-art technologies for reef mapping, provides detailed technical information for coral reef remote sensing specialists, imparts insight on the scientific questions that can be tackled using this technology, and also includes a foundation for those new to reef remote sensing. The individual sections of the book include introductory overviews of four main types of remotely sensed data used to study coral reefs, followed by specific examples demonstrating practical applications of the different technologies being discussed. Guidelines for selecting the most appropriate sensor for particular applications are provided, including an overview of how to utilize remote sensing data as an effective tool in science and management. The text is richly illustrated with examples of each sensing technology applied to a range of scientific, monitoring and management questions in reefs around the world. As such, the book is broadly accessible to a general audience, as well as students, managers, remote sensing specialists and anyone else working with coral reef ecosystems.



Additional Information

Forward Written by Sylvia A. Earle, National Geographic Explorer in Residence Founder, Mission Blue

Section I: Visible and Infrared

Chapter 1: Visible and Infrared Overview Stuart R. Phinn, Eric M. Hochberg, and Chris M. Roelfsema page 3

Chapter 2: Photography Applications Susan A. Cochran page 29

Chapter 3: Multispectral Applications Hiroya Yamano page 51

Chapter 4: Hyperspectral Applications John D. Hedley page 79

Section II: LiDAR

Chapter 5: LiDAR Overview Samuel J. Purkis and John C. Brock page 115

Chapter 6: LiDAR Applications Simon J. Pittman, Bryan Costa and Lisa M. Wedding page 145

Chapter 7: Integrated LiDAR and Hyperspectral Jennifer M. Wozencraft and Joong Yong Park page 175

Section III: Acoustic

Chapter 8: Acoustic Methods Overview Bernhard Riegl and Humberto Guarin page 195

Chapter 9: Acoustic Applications Greg Foster, Arthur Gleason, Bryan Costa, Tim Battista and Chris Taylor page 221

Chapter 10: Deep Acoustic Applications Thiago B.S. Correa, Mark Grasmueck, Gregor P. Eberli, Klaas Verwer and Samuel J. Purkis page 253

Section IV: Thermal and Radar

Chapter 11: Thermal and Radar Overview Scott F. Heron, Malcolm L. Heron, and William G. Pichel page 285

Chapter 12: Thermal Applications Scarla J. Weeks, Ray Berkelmans and Scott F. Heron page 313

Chapter 13: Radar Applications Malcolm L. Heron, William G. Pichel and Scott F. Heron page 341

Section V: Effective Use of Remote Sensing in Science and Management

Chapter 14: Validation Chris M. Roelfsema and Stuart R. Phinn page 375

Chapter 15: Science and Management Stacy Jupiter, Chris M. Roelfsema and Stuart R. Phinn page 403


Marine Biology | Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology


Coral Reef Remote Sensing: A Guide for Mapping, Monitoring and Management
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