The cost-effectiveness of remote sensing for tropical coastal resources assessment and management

Mumby, P. J., Green, E. P., Edwards, A. J. and Clark, C. D. (1999) The cost-effectiveness of remote sensing for tropical coastal resources assessment and management. Journal of Environmental Management, 55 3: 157-166. doi:10.1006/jema.1998.0255

Author Mumby, P. J.
Green, E. P.
Edwards, A. J.
Clark, C. D.
Title The cost-effectiveness of remote sensing for tropical coastal resources assessment and management
Journal name Journal of Environmental Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0301-4797
Publication date 1999-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1006/jema.1998.0255
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 55
Issue 3
Start page 157
End page 166
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Although coastal habitat mapping is expensive, remote sensing is a more cost-effective technique than alternative field-survey methods (where effectiveness is defined as overall map accuracy). Satellite imagery is suitable for coarse detail habitat mapping where overall accuracies ofc. 70% can be achieved but is inadequate for fine detail mapping, achievingc. 40% accuracy. Four types of cost are encountered when undertaking remote sensing: (1) set-up costs, (2) field survey costs, (3) image acquisition costs and (4) the time spent on analysis of field data and processing imagery. The largest of these are set-up costs such as the acquisition of hardware and software which may comprise 48–78% of the total cost of the project depending on specific objectives. For coarse-detail habitat mapping with satellite imagery, the second highest cost is field survey which can account forc. 20% of total costs and >80% of total costs if a remote sensing facility already exists. Field survey is a vital component of any habitat mapping programme and may constitutec. 70% of project duration. For mapping small coastal areas (<60 km in any direction) in coarse detail, SPOT XS is the most cost-effective satellite sensor, but for larger areas Landsat TM is the most cost-effective and accurate sensor. Detailed habitat mapping should be undertaken using digital airborne scanners or interpretation of colour aerial photography (API). The cost of commissioning the acquisition of such imagery can be high [15 000–27 000 (US$24 000–$43 000) even for small areas of 150 km2] and may constitute 27–40% of total costs (64–75% if set-up costs are excluded). Acquisition of digital airborne imagery is more expensive than the acquisition of colour aerial photography but is offset against the huge investment in time required to create maps from API. If habitat maps are needed urgently, API may be prohibitively time-consuming. For small areas of say 150 km2, a map could be created within 25 days using CASI but might take six times longer to create using API. We estimate that API is only cheaper if the staff costs for API are considerably less than 80 day−1. As the scope of the survey increases in size, the cost of API is likely to rise much faster than that arising from digital airborne scanners. If the costs of API and digital airborne scanners are similar, the latter instruments should be favoured because they are likely to yield more accurate results than API.
Keyword Coastal management
Coral reef
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 136 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 24 Nov 2010, 00:37:49 EST