Monitoring Marsh Dynamics Through Remote Sensing

  • Ricardo Díaz-DelgadoEmail author
  • David Aragonés
  • Iban Ameztoy
  • Javier Bustamante


Remote sensing has been used widely, and in many different ways, for wetlands. From simple wetland delineation and mapping to water body characterisation and the extraction of biophysical parameters, remote sensing images have provided useful results. Remote sensing offers synoptic and repetitive views of the same places on Earth. Additionally, remote sensors have been capturing long time series of images, with most sensors still fully active. This allows historical reconstruction of land cover changes and ensures future monitoring. However, several limitations exist and these must be taken into account when dealing with long time series of images. In this paper, we introduce the different remote sensing monitoring protocols adopted for Doñana marshlands, and present some results on mapping hydroperiod and flooding, water depth and turbidity with a multitemporal Landsat dataset (1975–2008). Interpretation of the results is allowing us to test the validity of actions proposed in the framework of the Doñana 2005 restoration project. We also present preliminary results from monitoring the spread of an alien species in Doñana.


Landsat MSS TM and ETM+ time series of images density slicing ground-truth hydroperiod water turbidity 



This study was funded by the Doñana National Park administration (Spanish Ministry of Environment) through the research project “Reconstruction of bird population dynamics during the last three decades”, by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education through the research project HYDRA (# CGL2006-02247/BOS) and by help from the National Environmental Remote Sensing Network (# CGL2007-28828-E/BOS). Doñana National Park and Natural Park provided permits for field work in protected areas with restricted access. A. Travaini, H. Le Franc, D. Paz, A. Polvorinos, C. Rodríguez, and I. Román helped with field work. J.C. Gilabert, J.L. Pecharromán, L. M. Campoy and P.L. Porta helped with image processing. The authors want also to thank Clive Hurford for reviewing the manuscript and for his suggestions to improve the readability of the chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Díaz-Delgado
    • 1
    Email author
  • David Aragonés
    • 2
  • Iban Ameztoy
    • 2
  • Javier Bustamante
    • 2
  1. 1.Head of Landscape & Remote Sensing MonitoringDoñana Biological Station-CSICSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Remote Sensing & GIS Laboratory (LAST)Doñana Biological Station-CSICSevillaSpain

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