Quick Link to Products
Note: The Summit to Sea approach was used on this project:
Conservation Effects Assessment Project - Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico
The project objectives and goals are as follows:
- To develop an inexpensive, simple, GIS-based tool that
uses satellite imagery and other data to support the assessment
and management of land-based sources of pollution and the
threats to shallow-water coral reef ecosystems;
- Provide the tool to local coastal zone managers and resource
managers to improve conservation and management of terrestrial
and marine resources; and,
Explore the spatial linkages between changes in coral reef ecosystems
and land use change, and land-based sources of pollution.
This project serves to provide spatial data products for better coral
monitoring inthe US Caribbean and addressing the threats of land based
sources of pollution and land use change on near-shore coral reefs.
The products of the project also provide continuous summit-to-sea maps
(including digital elevation, watershed delineations, outflow points,
and satellite-derived bathymetry land cover, erosion potential, land-based
threat to benthic habitats, and coral ecosystem change analyses) that
are available to the public in addition to raw and processed Landsat
imagery. This project highlights specific watersheds and terrestrial
areas that are most likely to contribute land-based sediments and pollutants
to near shore coral reefs because of their location, terrain and cover.
This ongoing project emphasizes the development and application of marine
ecosystem change analysis methodologies. The GIS-based tool uses GIS to
spatially and temporally link moderate and low resolution satellite imagery
and monitoring data to: 1) provide tools to better manage land and coral
reef ecosystems; and 2) determine whether or not these technologies can
provide data adequate for answering management questions. The methodologies
and tools will be developed, tested, and evaluated by local Agency resource
managers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (USVI). The project
also will focus on working with resource managers and scientists in Puerto
Rico and the USVI to use the GIS-based tool in their coastal zone management
and other resource management and decision making activities.
|An example of the raw and value-added products for Western Puerto
Rico (digital elevation merged with a benthic map of the Getis statistic,
a measure of spatial auto-correlation, which is a proxy for coral complexity,
or habitat quality).|
Photo credit: Biogeography Branch
Satellite imagery, especially low-cost Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery
can provide essential data to scientists and coastal managers working
to assess and conserve coastal habitats, and most importantly to mitigate
the effects of land-based sources of pollution on marine resources.
The Landsat imagery archive has provided a wealth of available data,
useful for studying trends in marine systems as well as on land.
CCMA's Biogeography Branch has collected a series of Landsat images for
benthic mapping and change detection for Puerto Rico and the USVI from
1986-2003, as well as 1990, 2000 and 2003 imagery for Jamaica and Belize
. Summit-to-Sea terrain maps were derived from the satellite data, and
allow users to visualize elevation and bathymetry in one continuous
layer. This surface is also being used to model how contaminants travel
on land. Land-based sources of pollution accumulate in rivers and streams,
which then lead to nearby coral reefs. Sediment delivery at river mouths
for several time periods between 1985 and 2000 were derived using a
modified soil erosion equation was determined at outflow points for
each elevation-derived watershed. These proxies help locate land areas
that are particularly threatening coral reefs under various land cover
and precipitation scenarios.
Summit-to-Sea cover maps have also been created for each study area
by merging available land cover with benthic habitats to provide valuable
information about the land/sea interface, and what types of land cover
in coastal areas may be affecting the marine environment.
Finally, successive Landsat images are being analyzed to detect areas
of pollution and sedimentation plumes. Areas of significant
land use change, and watersheds with high sediment delivery have been
identified in terrestrial areas upstream of hotspots of change in coral
reef ecosystem determined by satellite change detection methods, and
spatial statistics used as proxies for coral complexity and habitat
quality, indicating a possible link between land-based sources of pollution,
and other likely threats to downstream coral reefs. This type of satellite
monitoring project are critical for identifying the sources of negative
influences from terrestrial systems, and needs to become a fundamental
component of coral reef monitoring and conservation in Puerto Rico,
the USVI and the greater Caribbean.
Reports and Publications
- Smith, F. & A. Shapiro. 2005. Semi-Automated
Bathymetric Mapping Procedure for Landsat TM. Proceedings
of the ASPRS 2005 Annual Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, March 7-11, 2005. PDF Link
- Shapiro, A & S. Rohmann. 2004. Summit-to-Sea
mapping and change detection using satellite imagery:
tools for conservation and management of coral reefs.
International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation.
vol. 53 (suppl. 1). pp. 185-193 PDF Link
Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Island Watershed Characterizations. Coastal Data for U.S. Caribbean: analysis of land-based sources of threat to coral reef ecosystems.
- Zitello, A.G., D.R. Whitall, A. Dieppa, J.D. Christensen, M.E. Monaco and S.O. Rohmann. 2008. Characterizing Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico: A Watershed Modeling Analysis and Monitoring Plan. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 76. 81 pp.PDF Link (Right-click and Save As... for best performance)
Maps and Imagery
- Ortho-rectified Landsat imagery for all study areas including:
Puerto Rico, USVI, Jamaica , and Belize.
- Estimated depth derived from Landsat imagery for all areas
- Land-water-cloud-shadow masks for each Landsat image
- At-satellite reflectance and water reflectance for every Landsat
- Digital elevation models and watershed delineations
For More Information
Project Manager: Mark Monaco
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Project Manager: Steve Rohmann
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
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