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Mapping and monitoring Louisiana's mangroves in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil spill

Journal of Coastal Research

By:
, , and
https://doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-11-00028.1

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Abstract

Information regarding the present condition, historical status, and dynamics of mangrove forests is needed to study the impacts of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and other stressors affecting mangrove ecosystems. Such information is unavailable for Louisiana at sufficient spatial and thematic detail. We prepared mangrove forest distribution maps of Louisiana (prior to the oil spill) at 1 m and 30 m spatial resolution using aerial photographs and Landsat satellite data, respectively. Image classification was performed using a decision-tree classification approach. We also prepared land-cover change pairs for 1983, 1984, and every 2 y from 1984 to 2010 depicting “ecosystem shifts” (e.g., expansion, retraction, and disappearance). This new spatiotemporal information could be used to assess short-term and long-term impacts of the oil spill on mangroves. Finally, we propose an operational methodology based on remote sensing (Landsat, Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer [ASTER], hyperspectral, light detection and ranging [LIDAR], aerial photographs, and field inventory data) to monitor the existing and emerging mangrove areas and their disturbance and regrowth patterns. Several parameters such as spatial distribution, ecosystem shifts, species composition, and tree height/biomass could be measured to assess the impact of the oil spill and mangrove recovery and restoration. Future research priorities will be to quantify the impacts and recovery of mangroves considering multiple stressors and perturbations, including oil spill, winter freeze, sea-level rise, land subsidence, and land-use/land-cover change for the entire Gulf Coast.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Mapping and monitoring Louisiana's mangroves in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil spill
Series title:
Journal of Coastal Research
DOI:
10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-11-00028.1
Volume:
27
Issue:
6
Year Published:
2011
Language:
English
Publisher:
Coastal Education and Research Foundation
Contributing office(s):
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description:
6 p.
First page:
1059
Last page:
1064