Riparian zones are dynamic ecosystems that form at the interface between the aquatic and terrestrial components of a landscape. They are shaped by complex interactions between the biophysical components of river systems, including hydrology, geomorphology, and vegetation. Remote sensing technology is a powerful tool useful for understanding riparian form, function, and change over time, as it allows for the continuous collection of geospatial data over large areas. This paper provides an overview of studies published from 1991 to 2021 that have used remote sensing techniques to map and understand the processes that shape riparian habitats and their ecological functions. In total, 257 articles were reviewed and organised into six main categories (physical channel properties; morphology and vegetation or field survey; canopy detection; application of vegetation and water indices; riparian vegetation; and fauna habitat assessment). The majority of studies used aerial RGB imagery for river reaches up to 100 km in length and Landsat satellite imagery for river reaches from 100 to 1000 km in length. During the recent decade, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have been widely used for low-cost monitoring and mapping of riverine and riparian environments. However, the transfer of RS data to managers and stakeholders for systematic monitoring as a source of decision making for and successful management of riparian zones remains one of the main challenges.
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