Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Satellite Images Reveal State Of Health Of World's Coral Reefs

Date:
July 29, 2006
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
A first-of-its-kind survey of how well the world's coral reefs are being protected was made possible by a unique collection of NASA views from space. A team of international researchers using NASA satellite images compiled an updated inventory of all "marine protected areas" containing coral reefs and compared it with the most detailed and comprehensive satellite inventory of coral reefs.

Hawaii's Pearl and Hermes Atoll, shown here in a 20-mile-by-20-mile Landsat 7 image, is part of the recently designated Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, the largest protected marine area in the world.
Credit: NASA

A first-of-its-kind survey of how well the world's coral reefs are being protected was made possible by a unique collection of NASA views from space.

Related Articles


A team of international researchers using NASA satellite images compiled an updated inventory of all "marine protected areas" containing coral reefs and compared it with the most detailed and comprehensive satellite inventory of coral reefs. The global satellite mapping effort is called the Millennium Coral Reef Mapping Project and was funded by NASA. The study was reported on recently in the journal Science.

The assessment found that less than two percent of coral reefs are within areas designated to limit human activities that can harm the reefs and the sea life living in and around them. Countries around the world have created these protected ocean and coastal zones where human activities such as shipping, fishing, recreation and scientific research are restricted to varying degrees.

"The contribution of NASA images to this project was crucial," says study lead author Camilo Mora, a marine biologist at Dalhousie University, Canada. "The satellite images allowed us to pinpoint where coral reefs are actually located within coastal marine ecosystems."

The Millennium Project collection of global satellite images of coral reefs was first released in 2003; maps derived from these images were released in 2004. The images are now publicly available from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Landsat 7 was designed by NASA and launched in 1999. The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey.

To achieve detailed, worldwide views of the very small and widely scattered reefs, the Millennium Project team analyzed nearly 1700 images taken by the Landsat 7 spacecraft over four years. Computer processing of these data resulted in the coral reef inventory and maps that revealed detailed information about the structure of individual reefs.

The new study found that while the number of marine protected areas has been increasing, the level of effective worldwide protection of coral reefs is small. The study also found that most protected zones are too small to provide protection for fish species that routinely swim outside the boundaries. Only a handful are big enough to protect fish and marine life that naturally range outside their boundaries.

"This research points out how much still needs to be done to protect coral reef ecosystems," said Frank Muller-Karger, one of the developers of the Millennium Project at the University of South Florida's Institute for Marine Remote Sensing in St. Petersburg. "Creating large reserves such as the new Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument is just such a step in the right direction." On June 15, the United States created the largest protected marine area in the world, which includes 4,500 square miles of relatively undisturbed coral reef habitat.

"Natural resource managers around the world and conservation groups actively use these coral reef satellite views to advance a wide range of habitat protection projects," says Serge Andréfouët, who developed the methods to create the Millennium coral reef maps. Andréfouët, co-author of the Science article, studies reefs with remote-sensing technology at the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement in New Caledonia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Satellite Images Reveal State Of Health Of World's Coral Reefs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060729134201.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2006, July 29). Satellite Images Reveal State Of Health Of World's Coral Reefs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060729134201.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Satellite Images Reveal State Of Health Of World's Coral Reefs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060729134201.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins