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Mar Environ Res. 2014 Dec;102:18-35. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.07.006. Epub 2014 Jul 22.

An innovative methodological approach in the frame of Marine Strategy Framework Directive: a statistical model based on ship detection SAR data for monitoring programmes.

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ISPRA (Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), via V. Brancati, 48, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:
ISPRA (Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), via V. Brancati, 48, Rome, Italy.
Galileian Plus S.r.l., Rome, Italy.


The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC) is focused on protection, preservation and restoration of the marine environment by achieving and maintaining Good Environmental Status (GES) by 2020. Within this context, this paper presents a methodological approach for a fast and repeatable monitoring that allows quantitative assessment of seabed abrasion pressure due to recreational boat anchoring. The methodology consists of two steps: a semi-automatic procedure based on an algorithm for the ship detection in SAR imagery and a statistical model to obtain maps of spatial and temporal distribution density of anchored boats. Ship detection processing has been performed on 36 ASAR VV-pol images of Liguria test site, for the three years 2008, 2009 and 2010. Starting from the pointwise distribution layer produced by ship detection in imagery, boats points have been subdivided into 4 areas where a constant distribution density has been assumed for the entire period 2008-2010. In the future, this methodology will be applied also to higher resolution data of Sentinel-1 mission, specifically designed for the operational needs of the European Programme Copernicus.


Boat anchoring; Copernicus; Environmental monitoring; Marine Strategy Framework Directive; Ship detection; Synthetic aperture radar

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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