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Research Technical Report

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Final Report: Imaging Spectroscopy of Coastal Habitats within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Bissett, W.P. and R.C. Zimmerman (February 2004)

Report submitted to SIMoN Program


The specific objective of the proposed study was to evaluate the utility of hyperspectral imagery of coastal environments within the MBNMS obtained by the PHILLS to map important features of optically shallow waters, including (i) bathymetry, (ii) substrate type (e.g. sand vs. rock) and extent of benthic vegetation, surface kelp cover, including-the ability to differentiate between canopies of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and bull kelp (Nereocystis lutekeana) as well the condition or “health" of kelp canopies (SIMoN Program Proposal 2002, Principal Investigator, R. C. Zimmerman, Co-Principal Investigator, W. P. Bissett).

The funding for this proposed study was to augment the funding of the CSU California Center for Integrative Coastal Research and Education (CI-CORE), whose principal mission is to build a coastal ocean observatory along the entire 1200 miles of California coastline. This funding augmentation had multiple aims. The first was to cover the approximate 60 hours of aircraft flight time on a NOAA aircraft. The second aim was to demonstrate the need for regular NOAA service on the West Coast of the US, as nearly half of our flight request was in transportation cost from NOAA Aircraft Operation Center (AOC), located in Tampa, FL. By demonstrating the utility of frequent hyperspectral aircraft surveys, as well as the other aircraft needs by MBNMS, it was hoped that future aircraft needs on the West Coast could be bundled in some way to reduce total costs to all NOAA services. The third major aim of this proposal was to demonstrate the linkages between NOAA programs (CI-CORE is a NOAA program), such that resources, data, and data products could be efficiently generated to effectively monitor and manage of California coastal zone.


We have completed our geo-rectification and atmospheric correction of the October 2002 data collection and have developed the hardware and software tools to more accurately and quickly collect, calibrate, and geo-rectify airborne collected high resolution hyperspectral imaging data. We have developed our first products of surface kelp and potential HAB distributions in San Luis Bay, as well as bathymetric and bottom classification estimates. Future collects will demonstrate time-dependent change in previously collected areas, as well as expand the area of interest for the CI-CORE effort.

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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