Multi-decadal L-band SAR observations of the Mangrove forests of the Rufiji Delta
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Mangroves are important habitats that face a range of threats, natural and anthropogenic. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from 1994 to 2010 have been used to identify systematic changes in mangrove forest vegetation in the Rufiji Delta, Tanzania. The mangrove forest is a Forest Reserve and is protected from large scale exploitation, though there are settlements within the reserve. A dataset of five L-band SAR images spanning a 16-year time period was processed to identify spatio-temporal changes in mangrove forest extent and composition. SAR signatures are related to changes in water budget. The image data show minor expansion in cultivated land along the margins of established communities in the delta. Thinning of mangroves is detected on higher ground whilst along creeks and river channels SAR backscatter indicates an increase in biomass. Sea level height is found to exert a stronger influence on backscatter than minor differences in seasonality. Despite inaccuracies in older SAR images SAR time series are shown to provide valuable data on the spatio-temporal dynamics of East African mangrove forests.
Research subject Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128042OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-128042DiVA: diva2:912244