The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-8
28 Nov 2014
 | 28 Nov 2014

Spatio-temporal assessment of ecological disturbance and its intensity in the Mangrove forest using MODIS derived disturbance index

D. Dutta, P. K. Das, S. Paul, J. R. Sharma, and V. K. Dadhwal

Keywords: Mangrove ecosystem, Sundarbans, Cyclones, Ecological disturbance, MODIS, MGDI

Abstract. The mangrove ecosystem of Sundarbans region plays an important ecological and socio-economical role in both India and Bangladesh. The ecological disturbance in the coastal mangrove forests are mainly attributed to the periodic cyclones caused by deep depression formed over the Bay of Bengal. In the present study, three of the major cyclones in the Sundarbans region were analyzed to establish the cause-and-effect relationship between cyclones and the resultant ecological disturbance. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) time-series data was used to generate MODIS global disturbance index (MGDI) and its potential was explored to assess the instantaneous ecological disturbance caused by cyclones with varying landfall intensities and at different stages of mangrove phenology. The time-series MGDI was converted into the percentage change in MGDI using its multi-year mean for each pixel, and its response towards several cyclonic events was studied. The affected areas were identified by analyzing the Landsat-8 satellite data before and after the cyclone and the MGDI values of the affected areas were utilized to develop the threshold for delineation of the disturbed pixels. The selected threshold was applied on the time-series MGDI images to delineate the disturbed areas for each year individually to identify the frequently disturbed areas. The classified intensity map could able to detect the chronically affected areas, which can serve as a valuable input towards modelling the biomigration of the invasive species and efficient forest management.