MEDCOAST International Workshop on

Applications of Remote Sensing to the Management of River Catchment Areas and their Coastal Margins in the Mediterranean and Black Sea

10-12 April 2000, Joint Research Centre of the EC, Ispra (VA), Italy





Organized by:

MEDCOAST Secretariat, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management, RIKZ, Rijkswaterstaat, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Space Applications Institute, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra (VA), Italy


Organizing Committee

Dr. V. Barale, SAI, JRC EC, Ispra (I)

Dr. F. Van Der Meulen, Rijkswaterstaat/RIKZ, Den Haag (NL)

Prof. E. Ozhan, METU, Ankara (TR)



From Rivers to the Sea

River catchment areas have a paramount influence on the coastal environment. The management of coastal zones cannot be carried out properly without taking into account the rivers that bring water, dissolved substances and suspended matter to the sea. In particular, the shorelines of enclosed basins can be substantially affected by river discharge - or from its lack. The Mediterranean and Black Sea are excellent examples of basins where interactions with continental watersheds, through the coastal interface, contribute to shape environmental features and natural resources. In the Mediterranean basin, pollution levels due to coastal runoff have been stabilized, perhaps reduced, in recent years, but anthropogenic and climatic processes have led to a reduction of river discharges. A diminished freshwater input, and associated sediment load, can change water circulation patterns, erosion and coastal morphology. Land use changes along the Black Sea main tributaries have led to a dramatic alteration of coastal water quality and consequently of the entire marine ecosystem. Both tourism and fisheries have been hardly hit by this occurrence.

Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems

Today environmental management practices call for the use of integrated observation systems. The collection of traditional data by direct means and surface installations remains an important component of all environmental assessments. However, Remote Sensing (RS) techniques have also shown their value in providing novel information on extensive, dynamical habitats such as terrestrial watersheds and coastal basins - which complement and complete the traditional ones. Advanced methods for data processing and classification, as well as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have enabled the regular monitoring, mapping and modelling of land use, surface cover changes and water quality evolution. Hence, RS and GIS have become popular and useful tools in developing policies for Integrated Coastal Management (ICM). For this reason, MEDCOAST took the initiative to organize an International Workshop on the use of RS, and GIS, technologies devoted to managing river catchment areas and their impact on coastal zones. The emphasis of the Workshop was primarily on the environmental issues typical of the Mediterranean and Black Sea, but contributions dealing with other regions were also presented.

Workshop Themes

The Workshop concentrated the use of RS, and GIS, in the management of river catchment areas and of the coastal margins impacted by them, with particular reference to the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The topics of discussion included:

  • available systems and techniques,
  • processes and scales that can be detected,
  • contributions of such techniques to ICM.

The Workshop was part of a series of events focused on environmental issues linked to management of water-related resources. In particular, it followed the 2nd World Water Forum and Ministerial Conference, held in the Netherlands, in March 2000. Central theme of both events was the importance of water for the world's population in the next century. River basin and delta development also got considerable attention



Monday, 10 April 2000

Shuttle departure from Hotel Le Terrazze, Ispra, for JRC (9:30)

Welcome & Registration & Coffee (10:00-11:00)

Workshop Opening (11:00-11:30)

  1. Opening remarks (SAI /JRC EC, Workshop Organisers, MEDCOAST)

    Session 1a (11:30-12:30): defining and approaching coastal zone issues

  2. King S.D., and Green D.R., “Redefining the Limits of the Coastal Zone: Bridging the Gap between Land and Sea Using Remote Sensing, GIS, and the Internet”.
  3. Maxwell B., “The LOICZ and BAHC typology databases on river catchment areas and coastal zones”.

    Lunch Break (12:30-14:30)

    Session 1b (14:30-15:30): defining and approaching coastal zone issues

  4. Vogt J.V., Bertolo F., Paracchini M.L., Colombo R., Kennedy P., and Folving S., “Catchment Mapping and Characterisation. A Pan-European Approach”.
  5. Peronaci M., “Activities of the ETC/MCE and its report on the State and Pressures of the Marine and Coastal Mediterranean Environment”.

    Coffee Break (15:30-16:00)

    Session 2 (16:00-17:30): coastal impact of rivers

  6. Murray C.N., Bidoglio G., Zaldivar S., and Bouraoui F., “Development of a scientific observational network on European river basins and coastal zones”.
  7. Gandini S., Barale V., Eleveld M.A., and Schrimpf W.B.H., “Remote sensing applications for the integrated management of a hydrographic basin and its coastal margins; the impact of the outflow of the Po on the Adriatic Sea”.
  8. Gade M., Barale V., Snaith H., and Rud O., “Spaceborne Multisensor Imaging of the Outflow of the River Llobregat”.

Shuttle departure from JRC, for Hotel Le Terrazze (17:45)

Tuesday, 11 April 2000

Shuttle departure from Hotel Le Terrazze, Ispra, for JRC (8:30)

Session 3 (9:00-10:30): monitoring rivers impacts

  1. Ophelia Ching-Wah Lee, Jay-Chung Chen, Zhu Xiaoge, and Huang Wei, “On the Application of Remote Sensing for the Pearl River Estuary Pollution Project”.
  2. Misdorp R., “ICZM and RS/GIS applications in river basins, two examples: the Wisla river and the Ganges/Brahmaputra/Meghna basins”.
  3. Süzen M.L., and Özhan E., “Monitoring of shoreline changes around Yesilirmak delta by using remote sensing”.

    Coffee Break (10:30-11:00)

    Session 4 (11:00-12-30): coastal dynamics & Information Systems

  4. Tabone-Adami E., “A coupled hydrological modelling approach of nutrient transfers from land-based sources for eutrophication assessment of Maltese coastal waters”.
  5. Eleveld M.A., Schrimpf W.B.H., Siegert A.G., Gandini S., and Barale V., “Towards DESIMA-CC: a case study on suspended sediment transport and coastal change”.
  6. Viel M., Faggioni R., and Laurenti A., “Remote sensing and GIS: an application to coastal urban expansion analysis and modelling”.

    Lunch Beak (12:30-14:30)

    Session 5 (14:30-15:30)

  7. DESIMA demonstration

Minibuses departure from JRC, for Stresa (15:45)

Social events on Lago Maggiore:

  1. visit to Palazzo Borromeo on the Isola Bella (17:00-18:30),
  2. Workshop Dinner on the Isola dei Pescatori (19:00-22:30).

Minibuses departure from Stresa, for Hotel Le Terrazze, Ispra (23:00)

Wednesday, 12 April 2000

Shuttle departure from Hotel Le Terrazze, Ispra, for JRC (9:00)

          Session 6 (9:30-10:30): remote sensing techniques and applications

  1. Morovic M., “Influence of hydrologic, meteorological and dynamic conditions on water colour”.
  2. Ilyin Y.P., Lemeshko E.M., Hopkins T.S., and Barale V., “Utilisation of different satellite information for the description of marine water circulation and riverine inputs expansion over the North-western Black Sea shelf “.

    Coffee Break (10:30-11:00)

    Session 7 (11:00-12:00): digital aerial photography & photogrammetry

  3. A. Koh, and E. Edwards, “A processing chain for the extraction of DEMs and the production of contoured orthophotomaps for catchment and coastal management using CIR digital aerial photography and digital photogrammetry”.
  4. McGinnity Ph., Ó Riain G., Kelly S., Linden D., Dollard B., and Mills P., “The application of high resolution digital aerial photography to freshwater and coastal resource management: aquatic habitat inventory as a basis for Atlantic salmon management, and a national coastal image inventory for Ireland”.

    Lunch Break (12:00-14:00)

    Session 8a (14:00-16:00): General Discussion

  5. General discussion: current achievements and future perspectives (all).

    Coffee Break (16:00-16:30)

    Session 8b (16:30-17:30): Discussion & Workshop Closure

  6. Closing remarks (SAI /JRC EC, Workshop Organisers, MEDCOAST).

Shuttle departure from JRC, for Hotel Le Terrazze (17:45)



BARALE Vittorio

European Commission - JRC - SAI

Via E. Fermi, 21020, ISPRA


Tel: +39 0332 789274

Fax: +39 0332 789034



CHEN Jay Chung

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

Clear Water Bay, KOWLOON

Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2358 6901

Fax: +852 2358 1582





BSUC, Newton St. Loe

BA2 9BN, Bath

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1225 875580

Fax: +44 1225 875776




European Commission - JRC - SAI

Via E. Fermi

21020, Ispra


Tel: +39 0332 789365

Fax: +39 0332 789648




European Commission - JRC Ispra


21020, Ispra, 


Tel: +39-0332-785009

Fax: +39 0332-789469




Laboratorio Biologia Marina

Via Piccard, 54

40010, Trieste


Tel: +39 040 224400

Fax: +39 040 224437



GADE Martin

Universitaet Hamburg - Institut fuer Meereskunde

Troplowitzstrasse 7

22529, Hamburg


Tel: +49 40 428385450

Fax: +49 40 428385713




European Commission - JRC - SAI

Via E. Fermi

21020, Ispra


Tel: +39 0332 789884

Fax: +39 0332 789648




University of Aberdeen

Dept. of Geography


United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1224 272324

Fax: +44 1224 272331




Marine Branch of Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute

61, Sovietskaya Street

99011, Sevastopol


Tel: +380 692 543150

Fax: +380 692 543150




University of Lund

P.O. Box 118

22100, Lund


Tel: +46 46 2228101

Fax: +46 46 2224435




European Commission - JRC - IHCP

Via E. Fermi

21020, Ispra


Tel: +39 0332 786383

Fax: +39 0332 789963



KING Stephen

University of Aberdeen

Dept. of Geography


United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1224 272324

Fax: +44 1224 272331



KNABE Stefan

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V. (DLR)

Münchner Str. 20

82230, Oberfaffenhofen


Tel: +49 8153 282698

Fax: +49 8153 281445



KOH Alexander


BSUC, Newton St. Loe

BA2 9BN, Bath

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1225 875580

Fax: +44 1225 875776



LEE Ching-Wah Ophelia

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Clear Water Bay


Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2358 6904

Fax: +852 2358 1582




Swarthmore College - Dept. of Engineering

500 College Ave

PA 19081, Swarthmore


Tel: +1 610 3288081

Fax: +1 610 3288082




Ministry Transport, Public Work, Water Management, C2M - Centre

P.O. Box 20907

2500 EX, The Hague

The Netherlands

Tel: +31 70 3114364

Fax: +31 70 3114380




Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries

Set. I. Mestrovica 63 - P.O. Box 500

21000, Split


Tel: +385 21 358688

Fax: +385 21 358650





Middle East Technical University

06531, Ankara


Tel: +90 312 2105430

Fax: +90 312 2101412  



SCHILLER Christian

European Commission - JRC - SAI

Via E. Fermi

21020, Ispra


Tel: +39 0332 785525

Fax: +39 0332 789177



SUZEN Mehmet Lutfi

Middle East Technical University

Dept. of Geological Engineering, RS-GIS Lab.

06531, Ankara


Tel: +90 312 2105723

Fax: +90 312 2101263




Yatirim Finansman A.S.

Ataturk Bulvari, Enguru Ishani, 107, kat 4



Tel: +90 312 4179339

Fax: +90 312 4173052




University of Cambridge

Geography Dept., Downing Place

CB2 3EN, Cambridge

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1223 333399

Fax: +44 1223 333392




National Institute for Coastal & Marine Management

P.O. Box 20907

2500 EX, The Hague


Tel: +31 70 3114370/364

Fax: +31 70 3114380



VIEL Monique

Centro di Telerilevamento Mediterraneo - CTM

Via Giusti, 2

90144, Palermo


Tel: +39 091 342368

Fax: +39 091 308512



VOGT Jürgen

European Commission, JRC Ispra

SAI, TP 441

21020, Ispra


Tel: +39-0332-785481

Fax: +39-0332-789469



WEHRLI Bernhard


Limnological Research Center

6047, Kastanienbaum


Tel: +41 41 3492117

Fax: +41 41 3492168  




Presentation Abstracts




Stephen D. King and David R. Green

Centre for Marine and Coastal Zone Management

Department of Geography, University of Aberdeen

Elphinstone Road, Aberdeen, AB24 3UF, SCOTLAND, UK.

Tel. (01224) 272324; Fax. (01224) 272331

Email. /



In most countries throughout the World, coastal zone management has traditionally been practised in a sectoral fashion, based upon political or socio-economic boundaries. In the United Kingdom, for example, the coastal zone is largely managed by local authorities, whose planning and management jurisdiction often extends much further inland than could realistically be called ‘the coastal zone’. More recently, the concept of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) has led to the idea that coastal zones would be more effectively and efficiently managed on the basis of seemingly natural process boundaries (such as sediment cells or estuaries) which do not operate within the current and static bounds of anthropogenic divisions. Furthermore, many voluntary management groups now exist who coordinate coastal planning and management at a more wide-ranging and holistic level than in the past.


There are also several other interrelated problems associated with managing the coast. A number of different definitions of the coastal zone exist ranging from a narrow strip at the coast, to an area from the low water mark to a river watershed found much further inland. The result is many different boundaries and areal units. Also the data and information required by coastal zone managers to do their job is often dispersed among many different agencies, collected in different ways, stored in different formats and is consequently inconsistent, difficult to use, and may even be inaccessible. For ICZM, this problem is further exacerbated by the fact that both marine and land data are collected and stored in different ways, and cannot easily be matched together when interactions between the land and sea need to be studied, or analyses undertaken. This is a problem when ICZM is inherently about land and sea interactions, and cross-border interactions e.g. the Solway Firth.

Remote sensing, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the Internet can, however, offer potential solutions to many of these problems. Remote sensing has, for a long time, been an invaluable source of environmental data and information. It has many advantages, including the capability to collect data over large tracts of land at any one time, and at a range of scales, from low resolution data covering large areas, to high resolution data covering smaller areas. In essence, it offers a hierarchical data source that can frequently be matched to process hierarchies found within the human and natural environment. Furthermore, remotely sensed data can be collected in a standard format that if geo-corrected to a map or projection system offers a relatively consistent and robust database of environmental data. Moreover, remote sensing provides a unique ability to collect both terrestrial and marine data in one seamless dataset. For example, one satellite image will capture a whole estuary and its surroundings, including both the marine and land components, in one data format.


GIS provides a suite of geospatial data handling tools allowing for the integration and analysis of multiple disparate datasets from many different sources. This provides the user with the necessary spatial data handling functionality to undertake tasks such as merging, overlay, and recode.


The Internet is a rapidly developing and expanding technology that is increasingly allowing people to gain access to the data and information they require from a whole range of sources on a global scale. With the expansion of Geographic Information Systems onto the Internet, access to geographic data, and the manipulation of it, will become even easier for the environmental manager who may not necessarily be a computer applications specialist.


Combining Internet and multimedia technology, it is possible to create a simplified interface to geographic information within an Internet browser. By constructing a topological map, similar to that of the London Underground, relationships between the terrestrial and marine environment and management areas can be displayed in a simplified fashion. Using lines and nodes as hyperlinks this type of navigational interface would offer coastal managers access to a hierarchically-based database of remotely sensed imagery with links to other geographic data and information covering both the marine and terrestrial environment, therefore bridging the gap between the land and the sea.





Elissaveta Peneva, Emil Stanev

Department of Meteorology and Geophysics

Faculty of Physics, University of Sofia

5 J.Bourchier Str, Sofia 1126, BULGARIA

Telephone:+359 2 62 56 289

Telefax: +359 2 962 52 76



TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter data for the Black Sea and their consistency with available hydrometeorological data are analysed for the period 1993-1997 with the aim to study the dependency of sea level variations on water balance. It is found that the Black Sea level variations are governed mainly by the river discharge. These variations show distinct signature, which is measurable by high quality altimeter data from T/P mission, particularly the seasonal signal having largest amplitudes as is the case with fresh water fluxes. We develop a method making possible to reconstruct the variations in sea volume from tidal gauge data with error estimates. The consistency between reconstructed and estimated from T/P data volume variations is analysed for the period 1993-1997. Based on the knowledge of possible errors we extend the reconstruction for the period 1923-1996 that gives us the possibility to analyze the long-term variability associated with water cycle. We detect pronounced oscillations with periods 10, 4, and 0.5 years, superimposed on the seasonal signal (maximum sea level in March-April and minumum in August). Finally, the impact of the global climate variability (as NAO and ENSO) on the Black Sea fresh water balance is revealed. A strong correlation was found between annual mean time series of NAO index and river runoff and in sea level.





J.V. Vogt, F. Bertolo, M.-L. Paracchini, R. Colombo, P. Kennedy, S. Folving

Space Applications Institute, Joint Research Centreof the EC

TP 441, 21020 Ispra (Va), Italy

Tel: +39 - 0332 - 78.54.81

Fax: +39 - 0332 - 78.94.69



Within the framework of the Euro-Landscape project the Catchment Characterisation and Modelling (CCM) activity of the Space Applications Institute (SAI) is aiming at a European-wide mapping, characterisation and classification of catchments according to surface characteristics, land cover dynamics and run-off conditions. A first step in this procedure is the development of a database of catchment boundaries and river networks with relevant attributes, including topological information and a hierarchical coding.


Such database will be of specific interest for the European Environment Agency (EEA) and for DG Environment in order to implement the monitoring requirements of the forthcoming Water Framework Directive. But also Eurostats’ GISCO and Water Statistics sections as well as a great number of scientific applications will benefit from a consistent and comprehensive database.


Within Euro-Landscape, the database shall form the basis for assessing problems related to land degradation, water stress and environmental protection throughout Europe. Catchments will be the basic monitoring unit and relevant information shall be derived through modelling key processes for a representative sample of catchments with different spatial dimensions. While GIS technology will be at the core of the mapping phase, remote sensing can contribute in various ways during the characterisation and modelling phase.


The extend and complexity of the area of interest demands for the development of highly automatic procedures. These procedures in turn will demand for the availability of high quality input data, such as digital elevation models and land cover data.


The paper will present the scope of the project, the particular problems expected in the European context and some first results from testing digital elevation models with varying grid cell sizes for delineating watersheds and river courses. Finally, the application of remote sensing will be highlighted in the context of monitoring water stress.





J. V. Staneva1, C. Lancelot2, J.-M. Beckers3, E. Stanev1

1University of Sofia, Dept. Meteorology and Oceanography 5 James Bourchier Str., BG-1126, Sofia, Bulgaria

2Université Libre de Bruxelles, ESA, CP 221 Campus Plaine, Bd du Triomphe, B-1050, Bruxelles, Belgium.

3Université de Liège GHER, Sart-Tilman B5, B-4000, Liège, Belgium


This study presents the state of the art of the 3D coupled physical-biological model of the Black Sea ecosystem resulting from the on-line coupling of the Modular Ocean Model modified for its application in the Black Sea with the mechanistic ecological model BIOGEN. Both models were developed, tested and analysed separately before their on-line coupling. The Modular Ocean Model was implemented in the Black Sea with two horizontal resolutions: 5, or 15 min. BIOGEN is a mechanistic ecological model of high trophic complexity (34 biogeochemical state variables) that was established in order to assess the response of the north-western Black Sea ecosystem to human-induced changes and predict its future evolution. The model was first implemented by coupling it with physical models of increasing spatio-temporal complexity and running it with different human-induced forcings in order to analyse its ability to reproduce correctly historical ecological events recorded since the 1960. The capability of the BIOGEN model to simulate the recent ecosystem changes reported for the Black Sea was demonstrated by running the model for the period 1985-1995. The BIOGEN code was implemented in an aggregated and simplified representation of the Black Sea hydrodynamics. Model results clearly show that the eutrophication-related problems of the north-western Black Sea were not only driven by the quantity of nutrients discharged by the Danube but that the balance between them was important as well. BIOGEN simulations clearly demonstrate that phosphate rather than silicate was the limiting nutrient driving the structure of the phytoplankton community and the planktonic food-web. In particular it shows that a well-balanced N:P:Si nutrient enrichment as for instances that observed in 1991 had a positive effect on the linear food-chain diatoms-copepods while the regenerated-based microbial food chain remained at its background level. When present, the gelatinous carnivores also benefited from this enrichment throughout their feeding on copepods. On the other hand, BIOGEN scenarios with unbalanced nutrient inputs such as nitrogen or phosphate deficiency recorded in 1985 and 1995, predicted the dominance of an active microbial food-web in which bacteria and microzooplankton played a key role, the former as nutrient regenerator and the latter as a trophic path to the copepods and hence to the carnivorous. From the model scenarios it is suggested that the observed positive signs of Black Sea ecosystem recovery might well be related to the reduction of nutrient loads by the Danube, in particular phosphate. Preliminary results of the performance of coupled 3-D physical -biological models are analysed in this study, as well.. Both, the impact of some physical processes on the Black Sea ecosystem and the role of the physical processes in driving interannual variability in ocean primary production is studied. The simulated phytoplankton patterns are compared with the CZCS and SeaWiFS satellite data. Latter are used to calibrate and further validate the 3-D coupled numerical model.





C.N. Murray, G. Bidoglio, S. Zaldivar, F.Bouraoui

Environment Institute, Joint Research Centre of the EC 21020 Ispra (VA), Italy


European policy for the protection of the environment and specially with regard to the problem of limiting the effects of eutrophication of rivers and coastal ecosystems from different types of pollution sources such as (a) agriculture and land use, (b) point source emissions, i.e. industrial waste and sewage discharge from urban areas (c) atmospheric deposition, is carried out through the application of a range of EU Water Directives. The JRC in collaboration with DG XI and EEA, are initiating a programme to identify and develop a network of small river basins-coastal zones across a range of European climatic conditions (Norwegian Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Seas) to investigate methodologies for assessing the efficiency of the application of selected Water Directives in terms of water quality and socio-economic cost-benefit.





Silvia Gandini1, Vittorio Barale2, Marieke A. Eleveld3 & Wolfram B.H. Schrimpf4

Space Applications Institute, Joint Research Centre of the EC I-21020 Ispra (VA), Italy

1 Tel 39 0332 789095; Fax 39 332 789648; E-mail

2 Tel 39 0332 789274; Fax 39 332 789034; E-mail

3 Tel 39 0332 789365; Fax 39 332 789648; E-mail

4 Tel 39 0332 785352; Fax 39 332 789648; E-mail


Coastal zone management requires an integrated approach towards river catchments and their adjacent seas. The outflow of the Po in the Adriatic was chosen as a study object that might illustrate some interactions between river and sea. Discharge of water, sediment, nutrients (N and P) and dissolved oxygen from the Po and adjacent rivers from 1998 and 1999 was visually and statistically compared to occurrence, extension and direction of river plumes on Level 3 Chlorophyll SeaWiFS imagery of the Adriatic Sea. Preliminary results obtained with this method show that there is a relationship between discharge of water / sediment / nutrients and dissolved oxygen and the occurrence / extension / direction of plumes at the outflow point of the Po river. For the Adriatic coastal zone, this means that the outflow of the Po has a noticeable impact on the Adriatic Sea, and that it can be monitored with the method chosen. It also means that the occurrence / extension / direction of plumes at the outflow point of the rivers is a valid environmental indicator for outflow of water /sediment / nutrients and dissolved oxygen from the catchment. Preliminary results from this study will be assessed for use in a coastal change application in the DESIMA-project: DEcision Support for integrated coastal zone MAnagement.





Martin Gade*, Vittorio Barale**, Helen Snaith***, Ove Rud****

* Universität Hamburg, Institut für Meereskunde, Troplowitzstraße 7, 22529 Hamburg, Germany

Tel.: +49 40 42838 5450; Fax: +49 40 42838 5713; E-mail:

** Space Application Institute, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy

*** Southampton Oceanography Centre, James Rennell Division, Southampton, UK

**** Stockholm University, Dept. of Physical Geography, Stockholm, Sweden


We have studied the ability of different spaceborne sensors of monitoring the outflow of the river Llobregat into the north-western Mediterranean Sea. The river Llobregat is 170 km long and rises in the south-eastern Pyrenees. The river mouth is located south-west of Barcelona, where the original marshy terrain of the Llobregat delta has meanwhile been transformed to urbanised and industrial zones. Especially the high industrialisation in that particular area causes a high load of pollution within the river outflow, thus causing a plume in the Mediterranean, which is well visible by eye.


We have analysed various remote sensing data from the north-western Mediterranean covering the river mouth and therefore allowing for studying the ability of different remote sensing sensors (working at different electro-magnetic frequencies) for monitoring the river outflow. The sensors comprise the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and the Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) aboard the Second European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS-2), the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) on the OrbView-2 satellite, and the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) aboard the NOAA satellites. By using this large data set we are able to show the influence of the river plume on the local ecosystem, namely the enhancement of surface-active material (visible in the SAR imagery), the variation of the local sea-surface temperature (SST, visible in the ATSR and AVHRR imagery), and the enhancement of chlorophyll-A (visible in the SeaWiFS imagery). For one particular day (5 July, 1998) data from all sensors are available, thus allowing for a direct intercomparison of the signatures and, therefore, for a better interpretation of the obtained results.





Ophelia Ching-Wah Lee, Jay-Chung Chen, Zhu Xiaoge, Huang Wei

Center for Coastal and Atmospheric Research, Hong Kong Unviersity of Science and Technology

Tel : 952-2358-6904, Fax : 852-2358-1582, e-mail :


Pearl River estuaries is the largest river system in South China with its catchment of 453,690 square kilometers and about 30 million people live near the shores of the Pearl River waters and its coastal area. This area is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. The increased social and economic activities brought in serious deterioration of the water quality due to pollutants discharged in the Pearl River estuary system. The deterioration of water quality has come to a stage that the government is taking action to monitor, plan and control this environmental problem. A detail scientific study is urgently needed to assist the government to have a better understanding of the estuaries and hence establish monitoring and control strategies.


The objectives of the Pearl River Estuary Pollution Project (PREPP) is a three year project commencing in February 1999 to study the relative flux of toxic pollutants, sediment and nutrients entering Hong Kong waters from the Pearl River. This is a unique project in this region. The project uses a combination of traditional and new technologies to gain a solid understanding of the status of selected toxic pollutants, sediment, phytoplankton and nutrient levels in the Pearl River Estuary. Seasonal cruises were conducted, a network of ground sensors were setup to provide continuous in-situ measurements. These measurements were compared with the POM model output and satellite data.


At our university, we had installed a High Resolution Picture Transmission station and became operational in November 1994 for the reception of the SEA-viewing WIde Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) ocean color data and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) transmissions from the NOAA polar orbiting satellites. The Remote Sensing Satellites images provide qualitative relationship of ocean color indicators such as Sea surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll-a concentration and suspended matters in the coastal water. However, due to the complexity of the coastal water which is much affected by the material transport, we have made an attempt to establish a relationship between the ocean color indicators and the in-situ measurements.





R. Misdorp

International CZM Centre, The Hague, The Netherlands

Tel: +31-70-3114364; fax: +31-70-3114380; e-mail:


The coastal zone is a preferred area for human settlement and resource utilisation, and is characterised by a high rate of change. The coastal resources are being exploited under increasing pressure, due to the increase of population and economic development, and impacts of global change. The functional uses of the natural resources in coastal zones are multifaceted.


Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is internationally regarded as the response mechanism for sustainable development addressing long term challenges like climate change, while not overlooking the present problems such as coastal pollution. Integrated management of dynamic coastal areas should be based on knowledge of the natural and socio-economic coastal systems. Many vulnerable coastal nations, however, lack possibilities for long term monitoring of coastal processes. Remote Sensing represents an important monitoring tool in addition to “classical” field survey systems. Moreover RS and GIS , spatially and temporally based technologies, promote integrated research of the natural and socio-economic processes in the coastal zone and help ICZM.


In the frame of IPCC several VA (Vulnerability Assessments) of coastal areas vulnerable to impacts of climate are being conducted. The VA of the coastal zone of Poland was performed in 1991/1993 using RS and GIS for the assessment of damage in the lower part of the Wisla river basin including the low lying lagoonal coastal zone near the city of Gdansk. The assessment is based on three scenarios of sea level rise: i) no sea level rise, ii) 0.5 meter and iii) 1 meter sea level rise. The strategy of “no adaptive - coastal protection measures” was adopted for this case. A land-use map was produced using satellite imagery. Contour lines are superimposed on the land-use map by means of GIS-ArcInfo showing the low lying, vulnerable areas. In case of a dike breach near Gdansk, these low lying areas will be flooded. The economical value of impacted areas were assessed using satellite images, detailed topographic maps and conducting a limited field survey of numbers and values of buildings. The results of this preliminary Vulnerability Assessment were used for further analysis to evaluate different coastal, adaptive response strategies (protection, accommodation and retreat) to the impacts of climate change in economic and ecological sense.


With the help of a water balance, a quantitative assessment is developed of some impacts of changes in climate, land-use and water management in the Ganges/Brahmaputra/Meghna river basin on its coastal delta in India and Bangladesh. This STREAM - instrument, GIS applied, encompasses the total river basin (1.8 million km2) with a temporal resolution of one month and a spatial resolution of 7*7 km2 for most of the parameters. The land-use map, classsified into 25 units, is derived from satellite images. Other input parameters are: temperature and rainfall, Digital Elevation Maps, soil maps. Trough transparent, script file formulations the following output parameters are calculated within the GIS ArcInfo domain: river-discharge, soil-aridity, salt water intrusion in the Deltaic area, and snow cover in the Himalayas. The influence of short term, man made river interventions like dam constructions and downstream dredging as well as impacts of long term climate change are demonstrated. This instrument, initiated and guided by the CZM-Centre, is developed by Resource Analyses (Delft, The Netherlands) in co-operation with policy makers and scientists of the countries concerned and will be demonstrated at the World Water Forum, March 2000. The model will be used by the scientists and policy-makers of the countries of the Ganges and Brahmaputra basin for their strategic analyses of future sustainable water use and coastal zone management taking into account some impacts of global change.


In conclusion: i) ICZM is a mechanism appropriate to respond to complex, multifaceted, resource exploitation with regard to short and long term coastal challenges; ii) RS and GIS are useful tools for the integration of river basin and coastal research, and support ICZM; iii) RS and GIS are specifically important for vulnerable deltaic nations strongly influenced by discharges of water, sediment and pollution; iv) transfer of RS and GIS knowledge to vulnerable coastal nations is a dedicated process, mutually involving scientists as well as high level policy - and decision makers (the end-users) from the beginning of the development of the supportive instruments.





Mehmet Lütfi Süzen1 and Erdal Özhan2

1.Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems Laboratory, Geological Engineering Department,

Middle East Technical University, 06531, Ankara, TURKEY

2.Ocean Engineering Research Center, Civil Engineering Department,

Middle East Technical University, 06531, Ankara, TURKEY


Deltas are exteremely important fluvio-marine systems regarding their wetlands and agricultural potential. Yeşılırmak Delta in central Black Sea region is one of the largest deltas in Turkey. The Delta is formed by Yeşilırmak river (length 468 km.) and its two large tributaries Kelkit (length 313km) and Çekerek (length 156 km) rivers. Due to its large catchment area and suitable catchment morphology 10 small and 3 large dams had been built on the main river and its tributaries.


The development of the delta is monitored from 1953 till 1997 covering 44 years. Airborne avalailable data sets are in 1953 1:15000 and in 1972 1:22000 scaled stereo-aerial photograph pairs. The satellite data set is composed of two orthorectified shots of KVR-1000 satellite (1985 and 1997) having a spatial resolution of 1.56 meters. The coastlines are digitized and a vector topology is built to measure the areas of differences.


In 1953-1972 the delta front is considerably enlarged and the net aerial difference between 1953 to 1972 is measured as 2.617 km2, resulting a seaward development of approximately 3 kilometers in the delta front. However, after completion of the two large dams over Yeşilırmak river in 1981, the delta starts to retrograde, which is clearly recorded in the images. In 1972-1985 epoch the net aerial loss in delta is –0.316 km2 and in 1985-1997 epoch the difference is –0.918 km2. Although the total aerial difference is about 0.284 km2 through 1953 to 1997 which is a very minor change, the shape of the delta is strikingly changed.





Tabone Adami, Elaine1*; Lane, Stuart2 & Axiak, Victor3

1Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EN, U.K.;

2 School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, U.K.;

3Marine Ecotoxicology Laboratory, Dpt of Biology, University of Malta, Malta

*Fax: +441223333392; E-mail


Excessive nutrient inputs to coastal waters are the basic cause of eutrophication. Non–point nutrient sources are diffuse and more temporally variable than point sources and need to be estimated by a distributed modelling approach that takes into account spatially variable nutrient supply within the catchment. This will be associated, predominantly, with land use. Such a model needs to be assessed by comparing predictions with measurements made in coastal waters, such as the quantitative distribution of the phytoplankton pigment chlorophyll-a. This paper develops and applies such an integrated coupled modelling approach for the assessment of nutrient loading from terrestrial sources to Maltese coastal waters in order to provide a deeper understanding of the causes and extent of eutrophication in such waters. Landsat imagery, to provide land use coverages, and geographical information systems, to handle all the modelling, provides a suitable framework for this purpose. Uncertainty implicated with model predictions is taken into account using a stochastic modelling approach, based on Monte Carlo simulations. N loadings are predicted well, whereas P predictions underestimate loading from sewage sources. Model evaluations are also based on mapping chlorophyll distributions in the coastal waters using remote sensing.





Marieke A. Eleveld1, Wolfram B.H. Schrimpf2, Ardy G. Siegert3, Silvia Gandini4 & Vittorio Barale5

Space Applications Institute, Joint Research Centre of the EC I-21020 Ispra (VA), Italy

1 Tel 39 0332 789365; Fax 39 332 789648; E-mail

2 Tel 39 0332 785352; Fax 39 332 789648; E-mail

3 Tel 39 0332 786389; Fax 39 332 789648; E-mail

4 Tel 39 0332 789095; Fax 39 332 789648; E-mail

5 Tel 39 0332 789274; Fax 39 332 789034; E-mail


According to the EC's Communication on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), the Habitats Directive and the proposed Water Framework Directive there is a need for more knowledge on coastal change. Therefore, a coastal change application is being developed within the DESIMA-project: DEcision Support for integrated coastal zone MAnagement. The application aims to assess the impact of river plumes and patterns in suspended sediment transport on coastal change along the Adriatic Sea. It is divided into two parts. The first part comprises the influence of the river outflow on the plume; the second part follows the transport of the sediment in the plume and relates the direction (and possibly the magnitude) of this transport to long term coastal change along the Adriatic Sea. The case study uses and integrates data from European databases, the SeaWiFS database, local measurements and model results. It will adopt existing Geographical Information Systems (GISes) and new geo-information technology. The result will be a coastal change application, DESIMA-CC that will allow users to browse (and possibly interactively use) value added data on the Adriatic coastal zone.





Monique Viel, Ruggero Faggioni, Alberto Laurenti



In the framework of the RESSAC project, a Geographic Information System (GIS) - based on ARC/INFO® functionalities - was set up. The RESSAC project was conceived with the aim of introducing methodologies and techniques based on satellite remote sensing to the Israeli Ministry of the Environment, in order to provide new tools and to update information as a support to its activities related to environmental planning, in particular relevant to coastal (marine and terrestrial) dynamics and transformations between South of Haifa and Ashdod (100km long). In particular, land cover assessment over a ten-year period relying on Landsat TM analysis showed that the main transformation in the studied area is due to urban sprawl associated with a loss of natural and agricultural areas.


The GIS was implemented in order to:

  1. store and manage the information derived from the processing of Earth Observation data (as well as other thematic information provided by the Israeli Ministry of the Environment;
  2. to set up a tool for simulation of urban expansion - relying on urban distribution derived from satellite - according to different planning scenarios in order to make urban forecasts for the year 2020.


Tailored interfaces were developed to support and to guide the user towards a sound and easy use of functionalities relevant to the management of the stored data and of the urban modelling.


The implementation of the "urban expansion modelling" tool has followed different steps:

  1. qualitative analysis of urban transformations occurred in the last ten years (87-96)
  2. definition of spatial "factors", or layers from which new urban growth could "start;
  3. definition of spatial "constraints", or areas where urban expansion is not possible/allowed;
  4. implementation of the model relying on specific functions of the GRID module of ARC/INFO (Euclidean distance function, MASK function)


The final output are maps showing new built-up areas in the studied region taking into account the number of km2 to be built to respond to new population growth and the different planning scenarios (factors and constraints). Thus, these final maps showing the impact of different scenarios of urban expansion on a specific area could provide a helpful tool to land use planners, also allowing them to show the results of different planning decisions to the public.





Hilda Cristina Salvatierra

Instituto Geografico Agistin Codazzi

Carrera 30 N° 48-51 Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia


The Caribbean Colombian has a wide variety of natural resources and ecosystems. The principal characteristic of coastal ecosystems is the narrow interdependency. As soon as the sweet waters that are generate on the highest places of the Sinú Watershed River, to drain over swamps and coastal ecosystems guarantee a fragile equilibrium at the mangrove saline condition. Besides this type of special ecosystem it is found the coral reef, underwater pruderies, mangroves and swamps which establish ecosystems with a big biological diversity. The study pace is conformed by different landscape units as soon as the wide coastal flat, numerous fertile alluvial valleys, drained by rivers and swamps connected, highly productive to conform a mosaic of ecosystems in the region that represent extraordinary examples of world biodiversity.


At present a potential hazard for the Golf of Morrosquillo’s forests is the shrimponds, a lot of examples of this is evident in several world places for instance Indonesia, Java, etc. For this is understood that a consequence of the different studies made in the region, there is not a wide knowledge the scale of relations conducive to ecological and social lack of equilibrium, introducing deep traditions between the development ways be imposed on society (international, regional, national or local) and the potential environment to support.


As of previously statement was jut out the importance to identify and analyze the environmental problems present in the Caribbean Colombian starting from remote sensing techniques and GIS in order to provide basic principles to support decisions and strategy applications to sustainable development at Golf of Morrosquillo.


The study area is located on Caribbean Sea, between Córdoba, Sucre and Bolivar departments in the Norwest of Colombia (South America). The total area study surface is 2.100 Km2, of which 34.8% correspond at maritime area and 65.2% to continental area. The geographic coordinates are between 9° 18´ 00” and 9º 36´ 50” of Nord Latitude, and between 75º 34´ 50” and 76º 08´ 30” of West Longitude.


The vegetation features in the study area are mainly distinguished by natural, semi natural and man-made vegetation cover as forest (specially red mangrove -Rizophora mangle), pruderies, shrubs, swamp vegetation and permanent and temporary crops.


The methodology used remote sensing techniques for the monitoring and mangrove ecosystem dynamic as of a GIS. Methodological stages consisted in: bibliographical and cartographic revision; preliminary legend construction; interpretation patterns definitions; digital image processing (Landsat TM and SPOT XS, 1989 and 1996) starting from digital classification; fieldwork; map edition; GIS design and mangrove covers analysis and modeling in both study dates as of employed decision criterion de decision to involve the change tendency at the moment in the mangrove ecosystem. As of the results met was possible to obtain and update the cover information to contribute the information bases about potential physic environment.


In conclusion the main mangrove degradation indicators in the area respect to space occupation is caused to take advantage of red and yellow mangrove (explained by the regional economic conditions and the opportunities that the wood provides to the population for instance construction and oil materials) and by the shrimponds constructions (near the swamps). Finally is important to emphasize the remote sensing products employed, remote sensing techniques and the use of GIS in order to interpret and analyze the mangrove changes in the regional and international field.





Mira Morovic

Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, P.O.Box 500, 21000 Split, Croatia

Tel 00385 21 358 688, Fax 00385 21 358 650,


Pigment spatial and temporal variability was studied from the complete CZCS data set. The phytoplankton dynamics in the Northern Adriatic, as reflected in chlorophyll a, is especially influenced by the river runoff. Northern Italian rivers (especially the Po river) intensely supply Northern Adriatic with nutrients as well as mixing of shallow bottom sediments, which are induced by the strong wind episodes. In the warm season, the influence of Northern river water is observed down to the middle Adriatic sill, while the Southern Adriatic is under the influenced of Albanian rivers.


The pigment variability in the three sites, Northern, Middle, and Southern Adriatic is in a different way forced by meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic conditions, caused by dissimilar underlying physical mechanism of the these areas. The differences between seasonal course of in-situ chlorophyll and remotely sensed pigment concentrations (from CZCS satellite data) from the Adriatic are especially large in winter. However, in-situ chlorophyll changes are in accordance with the course of transparency for the Northern and Middle Adriatic. Increased pigment concentrations may not be only indicators of high biological activity but show the presence of suspended and/or dissolved matter whose signals overlap. Therefore, wind, thermohaline properties and hydrological data are related the satellite pigment concentrations from different Adriatic sites, in order to have an insight about possible connections.





Yuriy P. Ilyin 1, Evgeniy M. Lemeshko2, Tom S. Hopkins3, Vittorio Barale4

(1) Marine Branch of Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute, Sevastopol, Ukraine

(2) Marine Hydrophysical Institute of Ukrainian National Academy of Science, Sevastopol, Ukraine

(3) Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA

(4) Space Applications Institute, Joint Research Centre of the EC, Ispra, Italy


The shelf ecosystem of the Northwestern Black Sea is severely impacted by polluted runoff discharges. However, the fates of the pollutants and their integrated impact on the system have not yet been fully assessed. The local coastal circulation and its transport of sediment and pollutants are strongly influenced by the amount of fresh water from the Danube and Dnieper rivers. Normally the river inputs flow along the western coast to the south. However, in spring and summer wind driven effects occur which lead to the transport of highly turbid fresh water in a surface layer towards the outer shelf region and the upwelling of cold deeper water in the near coast area. Upon reaching the shelf break the polluted fresh water can be incorporated into the existing quasi-stationary anticyclonic eddies at the shelf break and thereby can be transported into the deep basin of the Black Sea.


These complex marine processes in the surface layer have been studied with NOAA/AVHRR, Nimbus-7/CZCS and SeaStar/SeaWiFS satellite images combined with in-situ data. Spatial circulation patterns and phytoplankton pigments distribution in the Northwestern Black Sea were mapped and analysed. Furthermore, Topex/Poseidon and ERS-1,2 altimeter data provided the sea level gradients, which were used to superimpose the water circulation streamlines on thermal and bio-optical patterns. The steric height method was applied to the CTD database (~ 600 stations) of the CoMSBlack International Program (conducted during the spring of 1993 and 1994) with the objective of calculating the adjusted sea levels and the associated total geostrophic volume and water-property transports. This method is attempting also to create an independent sea-level reference from the historical density field that would provide a calibration for the satellite altimeter data and render them more useful for the marine circulation studies.


In September-October 1997 and December 1998 detailed multi-disciplinary studies were executed with the aim of diagnosis and numerical modelling of the marine ecosystem modern state near the Danube delta (around the Zmeiny island). NOAA/AVHRR satellite images were used to better interpret in-situ data and to describe spatial and temporal variations of water properties. Typical situations were registered produced by variable local wind-driven currents, seasonal shallow cooling and buoyancy inflow and satellite data were of highly use to describe these variations in detail.


The monitoring of hydro-meteorological processes and of water quality, in the NW Black Sea coastal zone and river mouths, is constantly executed by the Ukrainian Hydro-Meteorological Service, using its stations network. Regional GIS is developed including the computer database for all ship surveys and shore station observations. Satellite information is now incorporated in this GIS, giving possibility to support a number of environmental and CZM-related investigations.





Alexander Koh & Esther Edwards

Geotechnologies, BSUC, Newton St. Loe, BA2 9BN Bath, UK


This paper presents a processing chain used for near real-time digital elevation model extraction and contoured orthophoto map production using 0.5 meter pixel color infrared digital aerial photography and digital photogrammetry. The approach adopted addresses the logistics and quality parameters associated with the production of 1 : 5 000 scale digital contoured orthophotomaps with reference to the application requirements. Camera metrics, airborne image data capture, ground control, orthophoto production, hardware and software requirements are discussed. Cost and logistical advantages of a digital approach for small-area or feature-line surveys for cost effective production and delivery of digital photomaps for integration into Geographic Information are considered. A case study demonstrating digital elevation model and contoured orthophotomap production is presented from image data captured using a Kodak 460 CIR GPS digital camera, and ground control data captured using an Omnistar dGPS system. The data is photogrammetrically processed using VirtuoZo for Windows NT and integrated into MapInfo for decision support applications.





McGinnity, Philip1; Ó Riain, Gearoid2; Kelly, Stephen2; Linden, David3; Dollard, Brendan4; Mills, Paul2.

1 Marine Institute, Salmon Management Services Division, Newport, County Mayo, Ireland

2 Compass Informatics, 19 Nassau Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

3 DSL Consulting, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

4 Enterprise Ireland, Offshore and Coastal Engineering Unit, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland


There has been a severe and continuous deterioration in the quality of Ireland’s freshwater resource, particularly with regard to its potential for Atlantic salmon. This has been due primarily to dramatic land-use changes (industrial coniferous forestation and intensification of livestock production) precipitated to a large extent by the application of inappropriate European agricultural policy to the country’s coastal regions. As a consequence of these land-use changes many river systems, particularly in the west of Ireland, are subject to chronic erosion, sedimentation and disruption of hydrological function culminating in significant ecological damage with reduced salmon production potential and in some instances extirpation.


A central problem in addressing these issues has been an inability to acquire sufficient geographical and physical information to facilitate quantification of the resource. Furthermore, it is difficult, in the absence of such information to articulate a case for the protection of salmon habitat in resource allocation fora (disputes) with competing agriculture, forestry, water utility and power generation interests (starting point for integrated river catchment management).


Here we describe the development and use of an airborne high-resolution digital aerial photographic system in the Burrishoole river catchment to quantify the extent and complexity of the physical stream habitat and to describe the prevailing landscape conditions in the watershed. The camera system is based around a Kodak professional digital camera flown on a single-engine light aircraft. Advancements in flight planning and system operation, image rectification, mosaicing, and classification will be presented. We outline a vision of how high resolution remote sensed information might be linked to data collected by direct means and surface installations to increase the usefulness of spatial information for environmental assessment. The application of the system to a national coastal survey of Ireland is also presented along with the methods derived for dissemination of the resultant image inventory.


It is hoped that the methods and systems developed in Ireland might be transferable to Mediterranean and Black Sea environments.





R. Krishnamoorthy & S. Ramachandran

Institute for Ocean Management, Post Bag No: 5327, Anna University, Chennai 600025, India

Fax: 0091-44-4910740 or 2352870, E-mail:


India has a mangrove area of about 4000 including its island territories. The coastal geomorphology of East and West coast of India are very complex. The West Bengal coast is characterised by the existence of shoals, sand-spit, mudflats and tidal swamps. The coast of Orissa is marked by long sandy beaches with high and wide backshore. Long sandy beaches backed by rows of high sand dunes mark the coast of Andhra Pradesh, while Tamil Nadu coast comprises of long sandy beaches. The extensive area of mangrove cover with high bio-diversity in the East Coast is mainly due to copious inflow of freshwater for a longer period of time, larger tidal range and free exchange with sea, large quantity of sediment supply and gently sloping topography. The mangroves occur along the coast and also in the creeks in Andaman and Nicobar islands. Although there is much lacking of perennial rivers in the islands, the extensive mangrove development is mainly due to high rainfall in these islands.


Various regional as well as site specific studies were carried our recently using remote sensing data to assess the status and areal extend of mangroves in the country. In many areas the mangroves are in the process of degradation due to various anthropogenic and biophysical causes. Multidate satellite was used to map the mangrove wetlands and its adjacent watershed areas. The thematic information derived from satellite data and other related field data were analysed using GIS tools. The following results have been obtained in this study are: (i) mangrove degradation due to reduced inflow of freshwater and sediments, (ii) due to changes in land use, drought, agricultural and aquacultural practices in adjacent watersheds affect the mangrove wetlands considerably, and (iii) changes in geomorphology especially sand-spit formation in estuarine mouth and shoreline change lead to changes in water and soil quality.


While analysing the satellite data and in the field validation, it was observed that the changes in coastal geomorphology, hydrology and sedimentological processes and also the land use and other related activities in the adjacent watersheds has high impacts on the mangrove wetlands. The mangrove areas in Tamil Nadu are witnessed the direct impact of reduced inflow of freshwater which lead to changes in topography, soil and water quality and natural felling of mangroves. In other areas in East coast especially Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal, the aquaculture development is highly affecting the mangrove wetlands since there is no scarcity of freshwater. In the above areas, the area colonised by mangrove increases since the area of saline wetland is increases. The study concludes that the remote sensing data provides very vital information to study the interaction of watersheds and mangrove wetlands with reasonable accuracy and cost in a limited time. In recent years, GIS based Decision Support System (DSS) are being developed for all the important coastal sites having critical habitats in which IRS data products is the source for deriving thematic information and also identifying the causes for degradation. The importance of remote sensing data application potential in analysing the human and biophysical driving forces on the coastal wetlands/ecosystems are taught to key decision-makers for the preparation and implementation of ICZM plans in the country.


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