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Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Coral Bleaching"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 January 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Remote Sensing Research Centre, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
Interests: remote sensing of coastal and marine environments; conservation and management of coral reef and seagrass ecosystems; improving marine field calibration and validation approaches of remote sensing imagery
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Stuart Phinn
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2016, coral reefs in the world experienced, and continue to experience, the biggest coral bleaching event ever recorded. The coral bleaching event is characterised as a period where corals are partially or completely bleached, over a period of 4–8 weeks, and then either die off by being overgrown by algae, or recover by recolinisation from the symbiotic algae that were expelled. As a result of the 2016 event, very large areas were bleached, and the extent of thermal stress was well established from SST data, yet the extent and severity of bleaching and recovery levels have not been mapped.

Coral reef research institutes, and monitoring and management authorities have sent hundreds of researchers into the field to collect information about coral bleaching.

Although remote sensing plays an important role in predicting coral bleaching, by providing information on sea surface temperature, wind, cloud cover and other climatological parameters, only few papers have been published on mapping and monitoring the coral bleaching onset, the actual event, and the die-off or recovery at various spatial scales. The increased understanding of this coral bleaching event and the recent advances in remote sensing should provide an opportunity to develop new mapping and monitoring tools for reef scientists and managers, as an operational monitoring tool. Remote sensing of corals and their controlling environment have advanced in a number of ways: sensors, increased variety of platforms, reduction in data acquisition costs, public access to satellite image archives and processing capabilities, ease of access to image products, public contributions to data collection and analysis, and the ability to link field instruments and remotely-sensed data. 

There has not been a systematic or wide-ranging assessment of remote sensing for mapping, measuring and monitoring coral bleaching and post-bleach reef dynamics. This Special Issue will provide a platform to deliver a comprehensive body of work in this area, based on the 2016 global bleaching event.

We invite you to submit to this Special Issue on the following topics:

  • Measuring, mapping and modelling bleaching onset, the actual event and the die-off or recovery;
  • Measuring, mapping and monitoring biophysical parameters influencing coral bleaching;
  • Mapping reef composition from site to oceanic basin scales before, during and after bleaching event;
  • New close range remote sensing field techniques using drones for above and under water for assessing bleaching;
  • The roles of instrument networks, citizen science, and crowdsourced data collection and analysis for coral bleaching mapping and monitoring

Dr. Chris Roelfsema
Prof. Stuart Phinn
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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