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Updated:  16 February 2012

Remote Sensing for Environmental Analysis

During 1999/2000 Geoscience Australia's Urban and Coastal Impacts programme made an interim assessment of the status of estuarine health around Australia. As part of that work the UCI group assessed the potential of using online Landsat satellite imagery to make rapid assessments of estuary quality based around the 1997 work of Bierwirth, Root and Creasey on behalf of Environment Australia's Coastal Atlas project.

Algorithms used in this work are:
Water depth
Suspended sediment
Water Chlorophyll
Vegetation Index

Users should review the algorithm descriptions above prior to using the online system, and are referred to descriptions of the SWIM algorithm for detail on the concepts behind the substrate algorithm.

Some examples of processed satellite imagery for determining estuarine processes are given for:

Port Phillip Bay
Port Jackson and Botany Bay
Broken Bay
Moreton Bay
Tweed Heads

The image processing system linked to above allows either band 1 or band 2 for determining the shallow/deep water cut-off for some of the algorithms above. In some cases band 2 gives better results than band one and vice-versa, we recommend interested users try both options.

These images have been degraded for the purposes of this demonstration and are only intended to convey the concept of online image processing for rapid assessment of estuarine conditions.

Unless otherwise noted, all Geoscience Australia material on this website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence.