Water Management and Marine Sciences

“Water is a vital natural resource without which life would cease to exist. Water conservation and resources management represent some of the most critical environmental issues currently facing humankind. Space technology and applications play a key role in understanding global water cycles, mapping water courses, and monitoring and mitigating the effects of floods and droughts." (UNOOSA, 2019)

One example is the application of space technology in marine and coastal mapping. "Many of the dynamics of the open ocean and changes in the coastal region can be mapped and monitored using remote sensing techniques. Ocean applications of remote sensing include the following:

  •      Ocean pattern identification:
    • currents, regional circulation patterns, shears
    • frontal zones, internal waves, gravity waves, eddies, upwelling zones, shallow water bathymetry
  •     Storm forecasting
    • wind and wave retrieval
  •     Fish stock and marine mammal assessment
    • water temperature monitoring
    • water quality
    • ocean productivity, phytoplankton concentration and drift
    • aquaculture inventory and monitoring
  •     Oil spill
    • mapping and predicting oilspill extent and drift
    • strategic support for oil spill emergency response decisions
    • identification of natural oil seepage areas for exploration
  •     Shipping
    • navigation routing
    • traffic density studies
    • operational fisheries surveillance
    • near-shore bathymetry mapping
  •     Intertidal zone
    • tidal and storm effects
    • delineation of the land /water interface"
    • mapping shoreline features / beach dynamics
    • coastal vegetation mapping
    • human activity / impact" (Natural Resources Canada/Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, 2015)

"Oceans & Coastal Monitoring". Natural Resources Canada, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing. Last modified November 30, 2015.
Accessed February 1, 2019.

"Space for Water". United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, UNOOSA. 2019.
Accessed February 21, 2019.

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