A Multi-Sensor Approach for Assessing Mangrove Biophysical Characteristics in Coastal Odisha, India

  • Abhishek Kumar
  • Patricia Stupp
  • Subash Dahal
  • Caren Remillard
  • Roger Bledsoe
  • Austin Stone
  • Christopher Cameron
  • Gurdeep Rastogi
  • Rabindro Samal
  • Deepak R. MishraEmail author
Research Article


Mangroves around the world play a major role in coastal ecosystem processes by mitigating erosion and serving as a barrier against storm surges. India holds approximately 5% of the world’s mangroves, over half of which are found along its east coast. Situated in the state of Odisha, Chilika Lagoon and Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary are two wetlands of local importance in need of effective management. This study demonstrated the use of Terra, Landsat, and Sentinel-1 satellite data for spatio-temporal monitoring of mangrove health at these two sites. Several indices, including Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and Enhanced Vegetation Index, were examined to develop biophysical prediction tools and derive a 17-year time-series (from 2000 to 2016) of leaf chlorophyll (CHL), Leaf Area Index (LAI), and Gross Primary Productivity (GPP). The long-term analysis revealed phenological patterns in the biophysical characteristics such as high values during wet season and low values during the dry season. Correlations between biophysical characteristics and meteorological factors revealed a time lag exists in response to precipitation and associated runoff. In contrast, surface temperature did not show any lag in response time. This study also utilized Sentinel-1 radar data for the first time for Odisha mangroves to show seasonal variability in LAI, GPP, and CHL. The results from radar data were consistent with optical sensors and proved useful for capturing the rainy season, where data were limited due to cloud cover. This study revealed the advantages of using a multi-sensor approach for monitoring mangrove health and defining future monitoring protocols.


Remote sensing MODIS Landsat Sentinel-1 radar Chilika Lagoon Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary 



Funding and support for this project was provided by the NASA DEVELOP National Program and the Geography Department, University of Georgia. Authors would like to thank NASA DEVELOP Lead Science Advisor, Marguerite Madden, at the University of Georgia for their advisement and expertise throughout this project. Authors also like acknowledge the scientists at the Government of Odisha’s Chilika Development Authority, for their involvement with this work. Authors thank members of the Eastern India Ecological Forecasting DEVELOP team, María José Rivera Araya and Jessica Staley.


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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abhishek Kumar
    • 1
    • 5
  • Patricia Stupp
    • 2
  • Subash Dahal
    • 3
  • Caren Remillard
    • 1
    • 5
  • Roger Bledsoe
    • 4
  • Austin Stone
    • 1
  • Christopher Cameron
    • 5
  • Gurdeep Rastogi
    • 6
  • Rabindro Samal
    • 6
  • Deepak R. Mishra
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Geospatial Research, Department of GeographyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of Science, Technology, and International AffairsGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  4. 4.College of Environment and DesignUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  5. 5.NASA Develop National ProgramUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  6. 6.Wetland Research and Training CentreChilika Development AuthorityBalugaonIndia

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