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Mapping the habitats and biodiversity Of Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia using hyperspectral imagery

Kobryn, H., Pinnel, N., Heege, T., Beckley, L., Harvey, M. and Long, S. (2008) Mapping the habitats and biodiversity Of Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia using hyperspectral imagery. In: 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, 7 - 11 July, Fort Lauderale.

Abstract

The largest hyperspectral survey of a coral reef (3400 km2) was undertaken in April 2006 and forms the core data set for mapping habitat components and biodiversity of the Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia. Optically deep waters of this region are ideally suited for remote sensing techniques and airborne data were collected by HyVista. The data are at 3.5 m spatial resolution for a 1km wide terrestrial coastal strip and out to 20m depth over lagoon and reef areas and covers wavelengths from visible to near infrared at 15nm intervals. Hyperspectral data were corrected for atmospheric, air-water interface and water column effects using the physics-based Modular Inversion & Processing System. This approach allows for quantitative and automated steps as well as the removal of subjectivity from the classification process, allowing improved transferability to additional sampling locations, field spectral datasets and extension of the monitoring to other seasons. Underwater field spectra were collected using an OceanOptics spectrometer as well as underwater photographs, to allow for accurate interpretation and validation. Results of this mapping can be compared to the transect data collected by divers from other studies and also to earlier habitat maps prepared by expert interpretation of aerial photography. Comparisons of classification results for Coral Bay area show promising results in the discrimination of branching, tabulate and massive corals as well as macro-algal assemblages. Remote sensing offers unique tools which are non-invasive, quantitative and enable mapping of large areas into a seamless data set which can be integrated with human use data, oceanographic circulation models and other spatial data sets. The hyperspectral data are being used to develop a high-resolution characterisation of the entire reef, shallow water habitats and terrestrial landforms of the coastal strip in order to support sound conservation and management of the Ningaloo Marine Park.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Conference Website: http://www.nova.edu/ncri/11icrs/
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/10864
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