School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland (UQ)
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Seagrass mapping of Moreton Bay between the Bribie Island bridge and Kangaroo Island: Mapping conducted as part of the Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) in conjunction with Queensland Park and Wildlife Service and BRG-UQ part of the Joint Remote Sensing Research Program (funded by EHMP).
In 2014, UniDive (The University of Queensland Underwater Club) conducted an ecological assessment of the Point Lookout Dive sites for comparison with similar surveys conducted in 2001 - the PLEA project. Involvement in the project was voluntary. Members of UniDive who were marine experts conducted training for other club members who had no, or limited, experience in identifying marine organisms and mapping habitats. Since the 2001 detailed baseline study, no similar seasonal survey has been conducted. The 2014 data is particularly important given that numerous changes have taken place in relation to the management of, and potential impacts on, these reef sites. In 2009, Moreton Bay Marine Park was re-zoned, and Flat Rock was converted to a marine national park zone (Green zone) with no fishing or anchoring. In 2012, four permanent moorings were installed at Flat Rock. Additionally, the entire area was exposed to the potential effects of the 2011 and 2013 Queensland floods, including flood plumes which carried large quantities of sediment into Moreton Bay and surrounding waters. The population of South East Queensland has increased from 2.49 million in 2001 to 3.18 million in 2011 (BITRE, 2013). This rapidly expanding coastal population has increased the frequency and intensity of both commercial and recreational activities around Point Lookout dive sites (EPA 2008). Habitats were mapped using a combination of towed GPS photo transects, aerial photography and expert knowledge. This data provides georeferenced information regarding the major features of each of the Point Lookout Dive Sites.
Providing accurate maps of coral reefs where the spatial scale and labels of the mapped features correspond to map units appropriate for examining biological and geomorphic structures and processes is a major challenge for remote sensing. The objective of this work is to assess the accuracy and relevance of the process used to derive geomorphic zone and benthic community zone maps for three western Pacific coral reefs produced from multi-scale, object-based image analysis (OBIA) of high-spatial-resolution multi-spectral images, guided by field survey data. Three Quickbird-2 multi-spectral data sets from reefs in Australia, Palau and Fiji and georeferenced field photographs were used in a multi-scale segmentation and object-based image classification to map geomorphic zones and benthic community zones. A per-pixel approach was also tested for mapping benthic community zones. Validation of the maps and comparison to past approaches indicated the multi-scale OBIA process enabled field data, operator field experience and a conceptual hierarchical model of the coral reef environment to be linked to provide output maps at geomorphic zone and benthic community scales on coral reefs. The OBIA mapping accuracies were comparable with previously published work using other methods; however, the classes mapped were matched to a predetermined set of features on the reef.
Seagrass mapping of Moreton Bay between the Bribie Island bridge and Kangaroo Island: Mapping conducted as part of the Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) in conjunction with research by the CRSSIS, UQ (funded by Coastal CRC).