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Habitats and biodiversity of Ningaloo Reef. Mapping the habitat components and bathymetry with hyperspectral remote sensing

Kobryn, H.T., Pinnel, N., Beckley, L.E., Harvey, M.M., van Keulen, M., Heege, T. and Hausknech, P. (2008) Habitats and biodiversity of Ningaloo Reef. Mapping the habitat components and bathymetry with hyperspectral remote sensing. In: 2nd Annual Ningaloo Research Symposium, 28 - 29 May, Perth, Western Australia.

Abstract

This poster describes the mapping of habitats and biodiversity of the Ningaloo Marine Park as part of the Wealth from Oceans Ningaloo Collaborative Cluster. This is being achieved through a combination of state-of-the-art hyperspectral remote sensing techniques, coupled with biodiversity field surveys of the area. Airborne hyperspectral data were sponsored by BHP Billiton and collected by HyVista in April 2006 over 3400 km2 covering the whole Ningaloo Marine Park. This is the largest hyperspectral coral reef survey to date in the world which provides images at 3.5 m spatial resolution for a 1km wide terrestrial coastal strip and out to 20m depth over lagoon areas. Spectral range of the images is from 400-2500nm at 15nm interval. Hyperspectral remote sensing data are corrected for atmospheric, air-water interface and water column effects. This, physics-based approach, promotes automatisation and the removal of subjectivity from the classification process, allowing improved transferability to additional sampling locations and extension of the monitoring to other seasons. Field work to support the airborne data acquisition was carried out in 2006 and 2007, measuring underwater field spectra of cover-forming substrates, collecting echo-sounding data and underwater photographs to allow for accurate validation and interpretation of hyperspectral data. Field spectra from various habitats are used to characterise their spectral features enabling differentiation and classification of various bottom cover types. Transects across coastal vegetation were also conducted to identify the vegetation types and key landforms contributing to the variability in the images along the coast. Over the next three years, this project will use the hyperspectral data to develop a high-resolution characterisation of the reef, shallow water habitats and terrestrial vegetation 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
Notes: Poster abstract
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/7911
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