Spatiotemporal Characterization of Mangrove Phenology and Disturbance Response: The Bangladesh Sundarban

Small, Christopher; Sousa, Daniel John

This work presents a spatiotemporal analysis of the phenology and disturbance response in the Sundarban mangrove forest on the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta in Bangladesh. The methodological approach is based on an Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis of the new Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS) BRDF and atmospherically corrected reflectance time series, preceded by a Robust Principal Component Analysis (RPCA) separation of Low Rank and Sparse components of the image time series. Low Rank components are spatially and temporally pervasive while Sparse components are transient and localized. The RPCA clearly separates subtle spatial variations in the annual cycle of monsoon-modulated greening and senescence of the mangrove forest from the spatiotemporally complex agricultural phenology surrounding the Sundarban. A 3 endmember temporal mixture model maps spatially coherent differences in the 2018 greening-senescence cycle of the mangrove which are both concordant and discordant with existing species composition maps. The discordant patterns suggest a phenological response to environmental factors like surface hydrology. On decadal time scales, a standard EOF analysis of vegetation fraction maps from annual post-monsoon Landsat imagery is sufficient to isolate locations of shoreline advance and retreat related to changes in sedimentation and erosion, as well as cyclone-induced defoliation and recovery.

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Remote Sensing

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Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine Geology and Geophysics
Published Here
February 23, 2021