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Mapping habitats and biodiversity of Ningaloo Reef lagoon using hyperspectral remote sensing data

Pinnel, N., Kobryn, H.ORCID: 0000-0003-1004-7593, Harvey, M., van Keulen, M.ORCID: 0000-0001-6235-5788 and Beckley, L. (2007) Mapping habitats and biodiversity of Ningaloo Reef lagoon using hyperspectral remote sensing data. In: Ningaloo Marine Park Symposium, 24 - 25 July, Perth, Western Australia.


This project is focusing on the mapping of habitats and biodiversity of the Ningaloo Marine Park. This will be 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 collected by HyVista in April 2006 over 3500 km2 covering the whole Ningaloo Marine Park. This is the largest hyperspectral coral reef survey to date in the world and provides images in 3.5 m spatial resolution for a 1km wide terrestrial coastal strip and out to 20m depth over lagoon areas. 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 was carried out to support the airborne data acquisition in 2006 and 2007 collecting underwater field spectra, 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.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
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