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Spatio-temporal analysis of multi-date IRS imageries for turtle habitat dynamics characterization at Gahirmatha coast, India

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This paper reports the conceptualization of a remote sensing based technique to map the spatio-temporal change pattern of the coastal landforms of Gahirmatha, India, the world's biggest olive ridley sea turtle rookery. Twenty-seven Indian Remote-sensing Satellite (IRS) multispectral satellite images sampled between the period 1988-2001 are the basic input for the study. While the mapping of temporal change position of the landform centroids revealed the migrational behaviour of the landforms, the tide normalized change detection indicated the habitat surface area dynamics. The analysis revealed that the Ekakula spit of Gahirmatha estuary has undergone cyclone-induced mass erosion during its 14 years' evolutionary history, thereby destroying its nesting habitat. However, the Nasi barrier bar had shifted its position by about 6.85 km without significant change in geo-environment including surface area and hence continued to be the favourable site for turtles' mass nesting. The results have aided in understanding the impact of natural processes on the nesting habitat dynamics.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Defence Terrain Research Laboratory, Delhi 110 054, India

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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