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Remote Sensing of Coral Reef Health

The goal of this research is to use practical applications in remote sensing to describe and monitor biological and physical properties of reefs in the Caribbean affected by the massive bleaching event of September-October 2005.  In December 2005 NASA responded to this event and flew the AVIRIS hyperspectal sensor and digital camera system on the Twin Otter platform over reefs of Puerto Rico and the USVI with NASA led field teams on site in the reefs during overflights.  Airborne hyperspectral imagery and digital camera images and coincident field spectra of coral reef constituents will be integrated to assess reef status in terms of the extent of bleached corals, coral mortality, evidence of recovery, evidence of algal overgrowth, and biodiversity.

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