Assessing the spatial extent of seagrass in Bahrain using remote sensing and survey data

Authors: Sabah Aljenaid*, Arabian Gulf University
Topics: Marine and Coastal Resources, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Sustainability Science
Keywords: Seagrass bed, Landsat8, sentinel2, Bahrain, survey data
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon A2, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The beds of Seagrass are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth with a considerable economic value of any marine ecosystem. Ecologically, seagrasses provide food sources and feeding grounds for several species in the Arabian Gulf. Economically, they serve as nursery grounds for some species important to the Arabian Gulf’s commercial fisheries. These Seagrass species are tolerant of salinity and temperature extremes. Around 7,000 km2 of Seagrass habitats have been mapped in the Arabian Gulf to date. Dense growth of Seagrass is usually associated with sandy and muddy substrates in near shore and shallow waters (less than 10 m). The second largest Seagrass beds are found in the western subtidal areas. In addition, most of the mixed habitat occurs in the 3-Sm depth zone and consists mainly of Seagrass mixed with sand, rock and algae. In this study, remotely sensed Landsat 8/OLI and Sentinel-2 imagery combined with field survey data (250 points) were used to investigate, classify and map the Seagrass beds of the Bahrain marine area. The pre-processing techniques implemented on the data sets include, radiometric and atmospheric correction, masking, sunglint correction by using Lyzenga algorithm and applied on the same data and location, water column correction and unsupervised image classification using the K-mean method. The final maps revealed that the area of Seagrass beds was about 750, and 740 square kilometer for Landsat and Sentinel2 respectively. Dense Seagrass beds occur mostly on sandy substrates.

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