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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(7), 6423-6445; doi:10.3390/rs6076423

Mapping Coral Reef Benthos, Substrates, and Bathymetry, Using Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) Data

Centre for Spatial Environmental Research, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina Campus, Darwin, NT 0810, Australia
CSIRO Earth Observation & Informatics Future Science Platform, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 May 2014 / Revised: 4 July 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
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This study used a reef-up approach to map coral reef benthos, substrates and bathymetry, with high spatial resolution hyperspectral image data. It investigated a physics-based inversion method for mapping coral reef benthos and substrates using readily available software: Hydrolight and ENVI. Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) data were acquired over Heron Reef in July 2002. The spectral reflectance of coral reef benthos and substrate types were measured in-situ, and using the HydroLight 4.2 radiative transfer model a spectral reflectance library of subsurface reflectance was simulated using water column depths from 0.5–10.0 m at 0.5 m intervals. Using the Spectral Angle Mapper algorithm, sediment, benthic micro-algae, algal turf, crustose coralline algae, macro-algae, and live coral were mapped with an overall accuracy of 65% to a depth of around 8.0 m; in waters deeper than 8.0 m the match between the classified image and field validation data was poor. Qualitative validation of the maps showed accurate mapping of areas dominated by sediment, benthic micro-algae, algal turf, live coral, and macro-algae. A bathymetric map was produced for water column depths 0.5–10.0 m, at 0.5 m intervals, and showed high correspondence with in-situ sonar data (R2 value of 0.93). View Full-Text
Keywords: coral reef; remote sensing; hyperspectral; CASI; spectral angle mapper coral reef; remote sensing; hyperspectral; CASI; spectral angle mapper

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Leiper, I.A.; Phinn, S.R.; Roelfsema, C.M.; Joyce, K.E.; Dekker, A.G. Mapping Coral Reef Benthos, Substrates, and Bathymetry, Using Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) Data. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 6423-6445.

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