Coral reefs of Tonga - Image of the gis file
The Institute for Marine Remote Sensing (IMaRS) at the University of South Florida (USF) was funded by the Oceanography Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide an exhaustive worldwide inventory of coral reefs using high-resolution satellite imagery. By using a consistent dataset of high-resolution (30 meter) multispectral Landsat 7 images acquired between 1999 and 2002, USF characterized, mapped and estimated the extent of shallow coral reef ecosystems in the main coral reef provinces (Caribbean-Atlantic, Pacific, Indo-Pacific, Red Sea).
The program aimed to highlight similarities and differences between reef structures at a scale never before considered by traditional work based on field studies. It provided a reliable, spatially very well constrained data set for biogeochemical budgets, biodiversity assessment, reef structure comparisons and also provided critical information for reef managers in terms of reef location, distribution and extent, since this basic information is still of high priority for scientists and managers.
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