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Special Issue "Earth Observation and Sustainable Development in Marine and Freshwater Systems"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2021) | Viewed by 13264

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Trevor Platt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
Interests: the physiological ecology of marine phytoplankton; structure and function of the marine ecosystem; submarine optics; remote sensing of ocean colour; the ocean carbon cycle and climate change, and the ecological approach to fisheries management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Shubha Sathyendranath
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
Interests: ocean colour modelling; spectral characteristics of light penetration underwater; bio-optical properties of phytoplankton; modelling primary production; bio-geochemical cycles in the sea; climate change; biological–physical interactions in the marine system; ecological provinces in the sea; ecological indicators and phytoplankton functional types
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Christine Gommenginger
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Oceanography Centre (NOC), European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
Interests: active and passive microwave remote sensing; satellite oceanography of global, coastal and polar seas; salinity from space; ocean winds, waves and currents; new satellite sensors and missions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Marie-Fanny Racault
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
Interests: marine ecosystem dynamics; climate change impacts, risks, opportunities and trade-offs; ocean-colour remote sensing; EO applications for aquatic-system health-risk assessment; ecology of microbial pathogens
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Craig Baker-Austin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Weymouth DT4 8UB, UK
Interests: marine microbiology; vibrios; climate changes; waterborne infectious disease; biological oceanography; human pathogens
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Gina Tsarouchi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Flood and Water Management Group, HR Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BA, UK
Interests: hydrology; water resources; early warning systems; droughts; floods; earth observation applications for sustainable development; dengue fever and other vector-borne infectious diseases; climate change impact assessments; land-surface modelling; land-use change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The United Nations has issued a series of seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) intended to increase the welfare of the world’s citizens by the year 2030. EO technologies and innovations are constantly evolving, and can help enhance the capability to monitor the Earth’s vital resources, and to support the planning, design, operation, and management processes of various sectors.

This Special Issue invites contributions demonstrating how EO technologies provide the information needed to confront key sustainable development challenges, spanning a whole range of themes such as: marine and freshwater systems, disaster response and early warning systems, water resources, agriculture, deforestation, land-use change, urban development, and health.

SDGs that are of particular interest include:

  • SDG 14 – Life below water
  • SDG 3 – Good health and wellbeing
  • SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation

The Special Issue will include contributions that address the power of Earth observation to support our ability to address issues related to these SDGs. Examples include remotely-sensed metrics of marine ecosystem status, fishery potential estimated using ocean-colour data, surveillance for governance on the high seas, early warning systems for floods and droughts, approaches for monitoring land cover change and so on.  

The scope is very broad. It will also include papers that deal with other SDGs that have an aquatic context. For example water-associated diseases impinge on SDG 3 (health) and on SDG 6 (clean water) as well as on SDG 14. Papers on applications of remote sensing to study water-associated diseases would therefore be welcome contributions to the Special Issue. There are many other such cross-cutting topics that could be contributed to the Special Issue. The SDGs, as well the related targets and indicators, can be found at

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300

Prof. Trevor Platt
Dr. Shubha Sathyendranath
Dr. Christine Gommenginger
Dr. Marie-Fanny Racault
Dr. Craig Baker-Austin
Dr. Gina Tsarouchi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • remote sensing
  • sustainable development
  • marine
  • brackish
  • freshwater
  • coastal
  • marine protected areas
  • fisheries
  • human health
  • clean water
  • climate change

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Communication
Citizen Science Tools Reveal Changes in Estuarine Water Quality Following Demolition of Buildings
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(9), 1683; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091683 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1242
Abstract
Turbidity and water colour are two easily measurable properties used to monitor pollution. Here, we highlight the utility of a low-cost device—3D printed, hand-held Mini Secchi disk (3DMSD) with Forel-Ule (FU) colour scale sticker on its outer casing—in combination with a mobile phone [...] Read more.
Turbidity and water colour are two easily measurable properties used to monitor pollution. Here, we highlight the utility of a low-cost device—3D printed, hand-held Mini Secchi disk (3DMSD) with Forel-Ule (FU) colour scale sticker on its outer casing—in combination with a mobile phone application (‘TurbAqua’) that was provided to laymen for assessing the water quality of a shallow lake region after demolition of four high-rise buildings on the shores of the lake. The demolition of the buildings in January 2020 on the banks of a tropical estuary—Vembanad Lake (a Ramsar site) in southern India—for violation of Indian Coastal Regulation Zone norms created public uproar, owing to the consequences of subsequent air and water pollution. Measurements of Secchi depth and water colour using the 3DMSD along with measurements of other important water quality variables such as temperature, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen (DO) using portable instruments were taken for a duration of five weeks after the demolition to assess the changes in water quality. Paired t-test analyses of variations in water quality variables between the second week of demolition and consecutive weeks up to the fifth week showed that there were significant increases in pH, dissolved oxygen, and Secchi depth over time, i.e., the impact of demolition waste on the Vembanad Lake water quality was found to be relatively short-lived, with water clarity, colour, and DO returning to levels typical of that period of year within 4–5 weeks. With increasing duration after demolition, there was a general decrease in the FU colour index to 17 at most stations, but it did not drop to 15 or below, i.e., towards green or blue colour indicating clearer waters, during the sampling period. There was no significant change in salinity from the second week to the fifth week after demolition, suggesting little influence of other factors (e.g., precipitation or changes in tidal currents) on the inferred impact of demolition waste. Comparison with pre-demolition conditions in the previous year (2019) showed that the relative changes in DO, Secchi depth, and pH were very high in 2020, clearly depicting the impact of demolition waste on the water quality of the lake. Match-ups of the turbidity of the water column immediately before and after the demolition using Sentinel 2 data were in good agreement with the in situ data collected. Our study highlights the power of citizen science tools in monitoring lakes and managing water resources and articulates how these activities provide support to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets on Health (Goal 3), Water quality (Goal 6), and Life under the water (Goal 14). Full article
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Article
Effect of Reduced Anthropogenic Activities on Water Quality in Lake Vembanad, India
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(9), 1631; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091631 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1575
Abstract
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal Life Below Water (SDG-14) aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development”. Within SDG-14, targets 14.1 and 14.2 deal with marine pollution and the adverse impacts of human activities on [...] Read more.
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal Life Below Water (SDG-14) aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development”. Within SDG-14, targets 14.1 and 14.2 deal with marine pollution and the adverse impacts of human activities on aquatic systems. Here, we present a remote-sensing-based analysis of short-term changes in the Vembanad-Kol wetland system in the southwest of India. The region has experienced high levels of anthropogenic pressures, including from agriculture, industry, and tourism, leading to adverse ecological and socioeconomic impacts with consequences not only for achieving the targets set out in SDG-14, but also those related to water quality (SDG-6) and health (SDG-3). To move towards the sustainable management of coastal and aquatic ecosystems such as Lake Vembanad, it is important to understand how both natural and anthropogenic processes affect water quality. In 2020, a unique opportunity arose to study water quality in Lake Vembanad during a period when anthropogenic pressures were reduced due to a nationwide lockdown in response to the global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (25 March–31 May 2020). Using Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 multi-spectral remote sensing and in situ observations to analyse changes in five different water quality indicators, we show that water quality improved in large areas of Lake Vembanad during the lockdown in 2020, especially in the more central and southern regions, as evidenced by a decrease in total suspended matter, turbidity, and the absorption by coloured dissolved organic matter, all leading to clearer waters as indicated by the Forel-Ule classification of water colour. Further analysis of longer term trends (2013–2020) showed that water quality has been improving over time in the more northern regions of Lake Vembanad independent of the lockdown. The improvement in water quality during the lockdown in April–May 2020 illustrates the importance of addressing anthropogenic activities for the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems and water resources. Full article
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Article
Dynamics of Vibrio cholerae in a Typical Tropical Lake and Estuarine System: Potential of Remote Sensing for Risk Mapping
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(5), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13051034 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1746
Abstract
Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium responsible for the disease cholera, is a naturally-occurring bacterium, commonly found in many natural tropical water bodies. In the context of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets on health (Goal 3), water quality (Goal 6), life under [...] Read more.
Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium responsible for the disease cholera, is a naturally-occurring bacterium, commonly found in many natural tropical water bodies. In the context of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets on health (Goal 3), water quality (Goal 6), life under water (Goal 14), and clean water and sanitation (Goal 6), which aim to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, we investigated the environmental reservoirs of V. cholerae in Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala (India), where cholera is endemic. The response of environmental reservoirs of V. cholerae to variability in essential climate variables may play a pivotal role in determining the quality of natural water resources, and whether they might be safe for human consumption or not. The hydrodynamics of Vembanad Lake, and the man-made barrier that divides the lake, resulted in spatial and temporal variability in salinity (1–32 psu) and temperature (23 to 36 °C). The higher ends of this salinity and temperature ranges fall outside the preferred growth conditions for V. cholerae reported in the literature. The bacteria were associated with filtered water as well as with phyto- and zooplankton in the lake. Their association with benthic organisms and sediments was poor to nil. The prevalence of high laminarinase and chitinase enzyme expression (more than 50 µgmL−1 min−1) among V. cholerae could underlie their high association with phyto- and zooplankton. Furthermore, the diversity in the phytoplankton community in the lake, with dominance of genera such as Skeletonema sp., Microcystis sp., Aulacoseira sp., and Anabaena sp., which changed with location and season, and associated changes in the zooplankton community, could also have affected the dynamics of the bacteria in the lake. The probability of presence or absence of V. cholerae could be expressed as a function of chlorophyll concentration in the water, which suggests that risk maps for the entire lake can be generated using satellite-derived chlorophyll data. In situ observations and satellite-based extrapolations suggest that the risks from environmental V. cholerae in the lake can be quite high (with probability in the range of 0.5 to 1) everywhere in the lake, but higher values are encountered more frequently in the southern part of the lake. Remote sensing has an important role to play in meeting SDG goals related to health, water quality and life under water, as demonstrated in this example related to cholera. Full article
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Article
Contribution of Remote Sensing Technologies to a Holistic Coastal and Marine Environmental Management Framework: A Review
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(14), 2313; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12142313 - 18 Jul 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 4579
Abstract
Coastal and marine management require the evaluation of multiple environmental threats and issues. However, there are gaps in the necessary data and poor access or dissemination of existing data in many countries around the world. This research identifies how remote sensing can contribute [...] Read more.
Coastal and marine management require the evaluation of multiple environmental threats and issues. However, there are gaps in the necessary data and poor access or dissemination of existing data in many countries around the world. This research identifies how remote sensing can contribute to filling these gaps so that environmental agencies, such as the United Nations Environmental Programme, European Environmental Agency, and International Union for Conservation of Nature, can better implement environmental directives in a cost-effective manner. Remote sensing (RS) techniques generally allow for uniform data collection, with common acquisition and reporting methods, across large areas. Furthermore, these datasets are sometimes open-source, mainly when governments finance satellite missions. Some of these data can be used in holistic, coastal and marine environmental management frameworks, such as the DAPSI(W)R(M) framework (Drivers–Activities–Pressures–State changes–Impacts (on Welfare)–Responses (as Measures), an updated version of Drivers–Pressures–State–Impact–Responses. The framework is a useful and holistic problem-structuring framework that can be used to assess the causes, consequences, and responses to change in the marine environment. Six broad classifications of remote data collection technologies are reviewed for their potential contribution to integrated marine management, including Satellite-based Remote Sensing, Aerial Remote Sensing, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Unmanned Surface Vehicles, Unmanned Underwater Vehicles, and Static Sensors. A significant outcome of this study is practical inputs into each component of the DAPSI(W)R(M) framework. The RS applications are not expected to be all-inclusive; rather, they provide insight into the current use of the framework as a foundation for developing further holistic resource technologies for management strategies in the future. A significant outcome of this research will deliver practical insights for integrated coastal and marine management and demonstrate the usefulness of RS to support the implementation of environmental goals, descriptors, targets, and policies, such as the Water Framework Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Ocean Health Index, and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, the opportunities and challenges of these technologies are discussed. Full article
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Review

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Review
Environmental Reservoirs of Vibrio cholerae: Challenges and Opportunities for Ocean-Color Remote Sensing
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(23), 2763; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11232763 - 24 Nov 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2885
Abstract
The World Health Organization has estimated the burden of the on-going pandemic of cholera at 1.3 to 4 million cases per year worldwide in 2016, and a doubling of case-fatality-rate to 1.8% in 2016 from 0.8% in 2015. The disease cholera is caused [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization has estimated the burden of the on-going pandemic of cholera at 1.3 to 4 million cases per year worldwide in 2016, and a doubling of case-fatality-rate to 1.8% in 2016 from 0.8% in 2015. The disease cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that can be found in environmental reservoirs, living either in free planktonic form or in association with host organisms, non-living particulate matter or in the sediment, and participating in various biogeochemical cycles. An increasing number of epidemiological studies are using land- and water-based remote-sensing observations for monitoring, surveillance, or risk mapping of Vibrio pathogens and cholera outbreaks. Although the Vibrio pathogens cannot be sensed directly by satellite sensors, remotely-sensed data can be used to infer their presence. Here, we review the use of ocean-color remote-sensing data, in conjunction with information on the ecology of the pathogen, to map its distribution and forecast risk of disease occurrence. Finally, we assess how satellite-based information on cholera may help support the Sustainable Development Goals and targets on Health (Goal 3), Water Quality (Goal 6), Climate (Goal 13), and Life Below Water (Goal 14). Full article
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