High-resolution habitat and bathymetry maps for 65,000 sq. km of Earth’s remotest coral reefs

Sam Purkis, Arthur C.R. Gleason, Charlotte R. Purkis, Alexandra C. Dempsey, Philip G. Renaud, Mohamed Faisal, Steven Saul, Jeremy M. Kerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

With compelling evidence that half the world’s coral reefs have been lost over the last four decades, there is urgent motivation to understand where reefs are located and their health. Without such basic baseline information, it is challenging to mount a response to the reef crisis on the global scale at which it is occurring. To combat this lack of baseline data, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation embarked on a 10-yr survey of a broad selection of Earth’s remotest reef sites—the Global Reef Expedition. This paper focuses on one output of this expedition, which is meter-resolution seafloor habitat and bathymetry maps developed from DigitalGlobe satellite imagery and calibrated by field observations. Distributed on an equatorial transect across 11 countries, these maps cover 65,000 sq. km of shallow-water reef-dominated habitat. The study represents an order of magnitude greater area than has been mapped previously at high resolution. We present a workflow demonstrating that DigitalGlobe imagery can be processed to useful products for reef conservation at regional to global scale. We further emphasize that the performance of our mapping workflow does not deteriorate with increasing size of the site mapped. Whereas our workflow can produce regional-scale benthic habitat maps for the morphologically diverse reefs of the Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as the more depauperate reefs of the Atlantic, accuracies are substantially higher for the former than the latter. It is our hope that the map products delivered to the community by the Living Oceans Foundation will be utilized for conservation and act to catalyze new initiatives to chart the status of coral reefs globally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCoral Reefs
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

bathymetry
coral reefs
coral reef
reefs
reef
habitat
habitats
oceans
ocean
Indian Ocean
Pacific Ocean
satellite imagery
shallow water
imagery
seafloor
transect

Keywords

  • Accuracy assessment
  • Bathymetry
  • Coral reef
  • Global Reef Expedition
  • Habitat maps
  • Remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Purkis, S., Gleason, A. C. R., Purkis, C. R., Dempsey, A. C., Renaud, P. G., Faisal, M., ... Kerr, J. M. (2019). High-resolution habitat and bathymetry maps for 65,000 sq. km of Earth’s remotest coral reefs. Coral Reefs. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-019-01802-y

High-resolution habitat and bathymetry maps for 65,000 sq. km of Earth’s remotest coral reefs. / Purkis, Sam; Gleason, Arthur C.R.; Purkis, Charlotte R.; Dempsey, Alexandra C.; Renaud, Philip G.; Faisal, Mohamed; Saul, Steven; Kerr, Jeremy M.

In: Coral Reefs, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Purkis, Sam ; Gleason, Arthur C.R. ; Purkis, Charlotte R. ; Dempsey, Alexandra C. ; Renaud, Philip G. ; Faisal, Mohamed ; Saul, Steven ; Kerr, Jeremy M. / High-resolution habitat and bathymetry maps for 65,000 sq. km of Earth’s remotest coral reefs. In: Coral Reefs. 2019.
@article{713df538e631400983b02c7e2b784fa1,
title = "High-resolution habitat and bathymetry maps for 65,000 sq. km of Earth’s remotest coral reefs",
abstract = "With compelling evidence that half the world’s coral reefs have been lost over the last four decades, there is urgent motivation to understand where reefs are located and their health. Without such basic baseline information, it is challenging to mount a response to the reef crisis on the global scale at which it is occurring. To combat this lack of baseline data, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation embarked on a 10-yr survey of a broad selection of Earth’s remotest reef sites—the Global Reef Expedition. This paper focuses on one output of this expedition, which is meter-resolution seafloor habitat and bathymetry maps developed from DigitalGlobe satellite imagery and calibrated by field observations. Distributed on an equatorial transect across 11 countries, these maps cover 65,000 sq. km of shallow-water reef-dominated habitat. The study represents an order of magnitude greater area than has been mapped previously at high resolution. We present a workflow demonstrating that DigitalGlobe imagery can be processed to useful products for reef conservation at regional to global scale. We further emphasize that the performance of our mapping workflow does not deteriorate with increasing size of the site mapped. Whereas our workflow can produce regional-scale benthic habitat maps for the morphologically diverse reefs of the Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as the more depauperate reefs of the Atlantic, accuracies are substantially higher for the former than the latter. It is our hope that the map products delivered to the community by the Living Oceans Foundation will be utilized for conservation and act to catalyze new initiatives to chart the status of coral reefs globally.",
keywords = "Accuracy assessment, Bathymetry, Coral reef, Global Reef Expedition, Habitat maps, Remote sensing",
author = "Sam Purkis and Gleason, {Arthur C.R.} and Purkis, {Charlotte R.} and Dempsey, {Alexandra C.} and Renaud, {Philip G.} and Mohamed Faisal and Steven Saul and Kerr, {Jeremy M.}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s00338-019-01802-y",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Coral Reefs",
issn = "0722-4028",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - High-resolution habitat and bathymetry maps for 65,000 sq. km of Earth’s remotest coral reefs

AU - Purkis, Sam

AU - Gleason, Arthur C.R.

AU - Purkis, Charlotte R.

AU - Dempsey, Alexandra C.

AU - Renaud, Philip G.

AU - Faisal, Mohamed

AU - Saul, Steven

AU - Kerr, Jeremy M.

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - With compelling evidence that half the world’s coral reefs have been lost over the last four decades, there is urgent motivation to understand where reefs are located and their health. Without such basic baseline information, it is challenging to mount a response to the reef crisis on the global scale at which it is occurring. To combat this lack of baseline data, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation embarked on a 10-yr survey of a broad selection of Earth’s remotest reef sites—the Global Reef Expedition. This paper focuses on one output of this expedition, which is meter-resolution seafloor habitat and bathymetry maps developed from DigitalGlobe satellite imagery and calibrated by field observations. Distributed on an equatorial transect across 11 countries, these maps cover 65,000 sq. km of shallow-water reef-dominated habitat. The study represents an order of magnitude greater area than has been mapped previously at high resolution. We present a workflow demonstrating that DigitalGlobe imagery can be processed to useful products for reef conservation at regional to global scale. We further emphasize that the performance of our mapping workflow does not deteriorate with increasing size of the site mapped. Whereas our workflow can produce regional-scale benthic habitat maps for the morphologically diverse reefs of the Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as the more depauperate reefs of the Atlantic, accuracies are substantially higher for the former than the latter. It is our hope that the map products delivered to the community by the Living Oceans Foundation will be utilized for conservation and act to catalyze new initiatives to chart the status of coral reefs globally.

AB - With compelling evidence that half the world’s coral reefs have been lost over the last four decades, there is urgent motivation to understand where reefs are located and their health. Without such basic baseline information, it is challenging to mount a response to the reef crisis on the global scale at which it is occurring. To combat this lack of baseline data, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation embarked on a 10-yr survey of a broad selection of Earth’s remotest reef sites—the Global Reef Expedition. This paper focuses on one output of this expedition, which is meter-resolution seafloor habitat and bathymetry maps developed from DigitalGlobe satellite imagery and calibrated by field observations. Distributed on an equatorial transect across 11 countries, these maps cover 65,000 sq. km of shallow-water reef-dominated habitat. The study represents an order of magnitude greater area than has been mapped previously at high resolution. We present a workflow demonstrating that DigitalGlobe imagery can be processed to useful products for reef conservation at regional to global scale. We further emphasize that the performance of our mapping workflow does not deteriorate with increasing size of the site mapped. Whereas our workflow can produce regional-scale benthic habitat maps for the morphologically diverse reefs of the Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as the more depauperate reefs of the Atlantic, accuracies are substantially higher for the former than the latter. It is our hope that the map products delivered to the community by the Living Oceans Foundation will be utilized for conservation and act to catalyze new initiatives to chart the status of coral reefs globally.

KW - Accuracy assessment

KW - Bathymetry

KW - Coral reef

KW - Global Reef Expedition

KW - Habitat maps

KW - Remote sensing

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85064664890&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85064664890&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00338-019-01802-y

DO - 10.1007/s00338-019-01802-y

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85064664890

JO - Coral Reefs

JF - Coral Reefs

SN - 0722-4028

ER -