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Remote sensing for characterization of intertidal sediments and microphytobenthic algae

More:  Institutes | Publications 
Reference no: SR/00/109
Acronym: ALGASED
Period: December 2006 till September 2009
Status: Completed

Institutes (4)  Top | Publications 
  • KU Leuven; Departement Burgerlijke Bouwkunde; Afdeling Hydraulica, more
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; Departement Biologie; Afdeling Dierenecologie en -systematiek; Laboratorium voor Aquatische Ecologie, more
  • Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science; Lowesoft Laboratory, more
  • Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO), more, sponsor

The main objectives of ALGASED are:

- improvement and fine-tuning of biomass estimates and modelling of primary production (PP)
- assessment of the performance of various types of satellite data for the quantification of MPB biomass and sediment physical properties
- multi-scale analysis incorporating both ground, airborne and satellite data
- accuracy assessment and improvement of supervised and unsupervised classification methods for hyperspectral imagery


Usually change in chlorophyll a (chl a) absorbance is used as a biomass estimator. This estimator however shows reflectance saturation at high biomass values, and also does not allow to distinguish between algal groups. It will be investigated how other pigments with non saturated absorption features in other bands can provide additional information on the composition of the MPB and how this can lead to better modelling of PP.
Match-ups (within a few weeks of airborne hyperspectral imagery) of past and future satellite data will be collected from high resolution satellite sensors with four spectral bands. It will be investigated in how far these images can provide information on MPB biomass quantification and on sediment properties.
Apart from traditional spatial analysis methods such as correlograms and semivariograms, newly developed techniques, such as Principal Coordinates of Neighbor Matrices, will be applied.
New, intensive and hopefully successful field campaigns combined with the acquisition of new hyperspectral images will provide independent measurements to test supervised and unsupervised classification methods.

Results expected

- algorithms to estimate the amount and composition of biofilms using several existing and new indices and for the detection of nuisance algal blooms plus maps of MPB biomass and composition
- a validated and calibrated Fluorescence and Grazing Index that predicts the physiological status of the MPB
- description of the influence of moisture content and mud fraction on absorption features of pigments
- a model for the net primary production, which considers the primary production of MPB, the losses due to respiration, the availability of nutrients, the losses due to grazing animals plus maps of PP
- guidelines about the usefulness of satellite data to study intertidal sediment and ecosystems. These guidelines will be general so that they can be used to study other intertidal flats and to choose the most suitable sensor.
- description of the interactions between bio-physical sediment parameters, topography and hydrodynamics and of the organization of these interactions at multiple scales
- determination of the main variables influencing the spatial distribution of MPB and sediment properties
- construction of a validated historical archive for our test sites, and advice on band selection for future missions
- models at multiple scales of bio-physical sediment properties
- accuracy assessment and improvement of supervised and unsupervised classification methods based on clustering techniques
- a database that integrates the available data and metadata on the study sites

Publications (5)  Top | Institutes 
  • Ibrahim, E.; Monbaliu, J. (2009). ALGASED Remote sensing for the characterization of intertidal sediments and microphytobenthic algae Contribution to WP5 (D5a_2): Supervised classification of hyperspectral images of ALGASED. KU Leuven: Leuven. 44 pp., more
  • Ibrahim, E.; Adam, S.; van der Wal, D.; De Wever, A.; Sabbe, K.; Forster, R.M.; Monbaliu, J. (2009). Assessment of unsupervised classification techniques for intertidal sediments. EARSeL eProc. 8(2): 158-179, more
  • Adam, S.; De Backer, A.; De Wever, A.; Sabbe, K.; Toorman, E.A.; Vincx, M.; Monbaliu, J. (2011). Bio-physical characterization of sediment stability indicators for mudflats using remote sensing: a laboratory experiment, in: Le Hir, P. et al. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Nearshore and Estuarine Cohesive Sediment Transport Processes (INTERCOH '07), Brest, France, September 25-28, 2007. Continental Shelf Research, 31(10, Suppl.): pp. S26-S35., more
  • Adam, S.; Monbaliu, J.; Toorman, E.A. (2012). Quantification of bio-physico-chemical properties of intertidal sediment at different spatial scales using remote sensing. Int. J. Remote Sens. 33(17): 5347-5365., more
  • De Backer, A.; Adam, S.; Monbaliu, J.; Toorman, E.; Vincx, M.; Degraer, S. (2010). Remote sensing of biologically reworked sediments: a laboratory experiment, in: De Backer, A. The mud shrimp Corophium volutator: a key species in tidal flat sedimentary processes? = De slijkgarnaal Corophium volutator: een sleutelsoort in sedimentprocessen van slikken?. pp. 49-64, more

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