The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XXXIX-B8
30 Jul 2012
 | 30 Jul 2012


M. Mahmudur Rahman

Keywords: Mangroves, Sundarbans, Erosion, Climate Change

Abstract. Mangrove forests are fragile coastal ecosystems and could be one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to global climate change and sea-level rise. These forests are formed in the fringe of land and ocean and characterized by the regular inundation of tidal water. Because of the changes in sea-level and dynamic energy system in the transition zone between land and sea due to climate change, erosion in different coastal zones of the world could be accelerated. The objective of this study is to find out the nature and pattern of erosion that can threaten mangrove forest ecosystems. The study area is located in Sundarbans mangrove, the largest continuous mangrove forest in the world. The study utilized time-series data of Landsat Multi-spectral Scanner (MSS), Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) during 1970s to 2010s. Time-series change analysis was done along the selected transect lines. The erosion rates in the Sundarbans Mangrove are variable and it is very difficult to get a conclusive result from the analysis of those points whether the erosion rate has been accelerated in the recent past. The average rates of erosion for the eastern and western parts are 14 m/year and 15 m/year respectively obtained form the ten selected transect lines. It is unclear that how much coastal erosion is linked to the global warming and sea-level rise or whether any other associated factors such as geological and anthropogenic induced land subsidence, changes in sediment supply or other local factors are driving these changes. Further studies should be conducted in different mangrove ecosystems of the world to explore whether similar patterns of coastal erosion are visible there.