Using MODIS data for mapping of water types within river plumes in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia: towards the production of river plume risk maps for reef and seagrass ecosystems

Petus, Caroline, da Silva, Eduardo Teixeira, Devlin, Michelle, Wenger, Amelia S., and Álvarez-Romero, Jorge G. (2014) Using MODIS data for mapping of water types within river plumes in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia: towards the production of river plume risk maps for reef and seagrass ecosystems. Journal of Environmental Management, 137. pp. 163-177.

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Abstract

River plumes are the major transport mechanism for nutrients, sediments and other land-based pollutants into the Great Barrier Reef (GBR, Australia) and are a major threat to coastal and marine ecosystems such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. Understanding the spatial extent, frequency of occurrence, loads and ecological impacts of land-based pollutants discharged through river plumes is essential to drive catchment management actions. In this study, a framework to produce river plume risk maps for seagrass and coral ecosystems, using supervised classification of MODIS Level 2 (L2) satellite products, is presented. Based on relevant L2 thresholds, river plumes are classified into Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary water types, which represent distinct water quality (WQ) parameters concentrations and combinations. Annual water type maps are produced over three wet seasons (2010–2013) as a case of study. These maps provide a synoptic basis to assess the likelihood and magnitude of the risk of reduced coastal WQ associated with the river discharge (river plume risk) and in combination with sound knowledge of the regional ecosystems can serve as the basis to assess potential ecological impacts for coastal and marine GBR ecosystems. The methods described herein provide relevant and easily reproducible large-scale information for river plume risk assessment and management.

Item ID: 32144
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8630
Keywords: water quality; river plume; water types; risk maps; ecological impact; monitoring; Great Barrier Reef
Funders: Center for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), Department of Sustainability, Environment, Population and Communities, Australian Research Council (ARC), Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT)
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2014 01:53
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 40%
09 ENGINEERING > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090905 Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961102 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 40%
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