Government agencies responsible for riparian environments are assessing the combined utility of field survey and remote sensing for mapping and monitoring indicators of riparian zone condition. The objective of this research has been to develop and apply mapping and monitoring routines for assessing the environmental condition of riparian zones. This has been done through mapping and monitoring of riparian biophysical parameters and land cover classes from a large number of high spatial resolution image data sets, including IKONOS, QuickBird, Vexcel UltracamD, HyMap, SPOT-5, LiDAR, etc. The vegetation structural and physical form parameters successfully mapped include tree height, water bodies, bare ground, streambed width, bankfull width, riparian zone width, plant projective cover, longitudinal continuity, large trees, vegetation overhang, bank condition, bank slope, and bank profile. Recent research has focused on automating the mapping and monitoring process using geographic object-based image analysis.

Project Details


  • Queensland: Mimosa Creek, Dawson River, Isaac River, Brisbane River, Keelbottom Creek. 
  • Victoria: Werribee River, Lerderderg River, Parwan Creek, Djerriwarrh Creek, Pyrites Creek, Goodman Creek.                 
  • Northern Territory: Daly River, South Alligator River.


  • Kasper Johansen, Stuart Phinn, Michael Hewson, and Lara A. Arroyo.


  • Department of Sustainability and Environment, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Charles Darwin University, Department of Environment and Heritage, Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research.

Timeframe: 2003-2010


  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship,
  • ARC Linkage,
  • Department of Sustainability and Environment,
  • Department of Environment and Resource Management.