Global coral reefs cover 1% of the Oceans, with 25% of Marine species and 500 million people rely on these natural wonders, but reefs are impacted through climate change. Reef conservation requires consistent habitat maps, however there is no single map created consistently, describing geomorphic zonation (e.g. slope, flat, crest) or bottom composition (e.g. coral, algae, sand) over the full extent of the worlds coral reefs. RSRC component  of the project involves developing and implementing the object-based mapping and modelling approach to produce geomorphic and bottom composition, maps and approach is based on previous RSRC research on the Great Barrier Reef and other reefs in Asia Pacific. The global mapping approach will modify our previous method with higher spatial resolution Planet Dove images and be applied on a global region by region basis. Where RSRC will conduct the geomorphic and bottom type mapping, Planet will provide Dove satellite imagery. The imagery will be pre-processed to water depth and bottom reflectance using approach developed by Carnegie Institution who will also develop monitoring protocol, while University of Hawaii will lead global engagement and verification activities.



    Methods based on:

    • Roelfsema, C., Kovacs, E., Ortiz, J.C., Wolff, N.H., Callaghan, D., Wettle, M., Ronan, M., Hamylton, S.M., Mumby, P.J., & Phinn, S. (2018). Coral reef habitat mapping: A combination of object-based image analysis and ecological modelling. Remote Sensing of Environment, 208, 27-41
    • Roelfsema, C. M., S. R. Phinn, S. Jupiter, J. Comley and S. Albert (2013). "Mapping Coral Reefs at Reef to Reef-System Scales (10-600 Km2) Using Obia Driven Ecological and Geomorphic Principles." International Journal of  Remote Sensing, pp: 1-22. doi:10.1080/01431161.2013.800660


    Project Details

    Location: Global Coral Reefs

    Researchers and Students: Chris RoelfsemaStuart Phinn, Eva Kovacs, Mitchell Lyons, Nick Murray, Daniel Harris, Greg Asner (Carnegie Airborne Observatory), Ruth Gates (University of Hawaii), Kirk Larsen (Vulcan) and Andrew Zolli (Planet inc)

    Funding agency: Vulcan (Paul Allen Philanthropies)

    Timeframe: 2018 ->