Mapping Technologies in Coral-Reef Environments
Coral reefs are a complex and productive ecosystem that encompasses the highest biodiversity of any marine ecosystem. They are unique as they depend on a strong interaction between geomorphic and ecological processes.
Investigating the formation and morphological change of coral reefs and reef-associated landforms contributes to a deeper understanding of a number of geomorphological, environmental and ecological issues, such as sediment and nutrient transport processes, larval dispersion mechanisms, estimation of their carrying capacity as habitat, etc. Moreover, it is crucial to improve coral reef conservation with a view of changing environmental conditions resulting from an increased stress by both anthropogenic and climate changes. To date, we have lost most of the global coral reef systems worldwide due to several impacts, such as overfishing, coastal development, sedimentation, marine-based pollution (e.g. plastic pollution).
Until less than a decade ago, geomorphological mapping in coral reef environments was carried out using satellite data ground-truthed by field studies. Because of this, geomorphological mapping lacked a 3D representation at high spatial resolution. As a consequence, geomorphological and habitat mapping, together with monitoring investigations, were challenging topics.
Nowadays, detailed mapping of coral reef environments is possible thanks to the use of both acoustic equipment (e.g. Multibeam Echosounder – MBES) and Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones), thus we are able to map, study and plan monitoring actions to be carried out to preserve such productive ecosystems.
The II Edition of the Mapping Technologies and Monitoring Techniques in Coral Reef Environments is your opportunity to gain hands-on experience on data acquisition and post-processing techniques by using different equipment, focusing on the importance of cutting-edge monitoring techniques for mapping coastal and nearshore environments.
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